SHOULD WE REFER TO IT AS QUARANTINE TIME OR LOCKDOWN PERIOD? DO YOU CARE TO CHOOSE THE RIGHT WORDS?

English is evolving. Although I am skeptical about it, I am certain that I will adapt. We all remember the days when ‘hump’ was referred to the protrusions on a camel’s back. Then in my late teens, it was informally referred to the act usually performed in the darkness (between two consenting adults). Most recently, I have been told that it refers to the speed breakers on the road that were formerly known as road ‘bumps’.

Lockdown or Quarantine
English is evolving

I’m sure most of you couldn’t care less but when I repeatedly notice any incorrect usage of the English language; I have an uncontrollable urge to correct it, almost immediately! How many times have you heard someone refer to last night as ‘yesterday night’? It is vital to understand the difference in certain words that can be used interchangeably; perhaps even essential, when you are posting on social media. Personally, I believe it is crucial to know the dissimilarities even for day to day interpersonal communication.

For example, a friend posted their art activities online stating that they have found their hidden talents during this ‘quarantine time’. Another friend posted that as couples, they have spent quality time after a long time, during the ‘quarantine time’. Let us understand something, though some may consider it irrelevant if they were merely posting something for friends to enjoy. The choice of words we use, to describe our thoughts, allow us to be precise and aptly expressive and therefore, I believe that being clear is of great importance.

Lockdown period or Quarantine time
Individual people, goods and animals are quarantined

So, are you enjoying your quarantine time or lockdown period?

By definition in Wikipedia, quarantine is the restriction on the movement of people and goods, in order to prevent the spread of diseases or pests that they could have been exposed to. Quarantine is mostly used in connection to diseases and illnesses. People, who may or may not have a confirmed medical diagnosis, are kept in quarantine for a certain number of days to make sure they do not transfer contagious diseases, just in case they are infected.

Lockdown period or Quarantine time
Virus Outbreak can result in a community being quarantined

In certain countries, animals like dogs are kept in quarantine for 15 days as soon as they arrive in the country so that in case they have a disease like rabies, it does not spread to other dogs as well as people in their community. During the COVID-19 period, people who have arrived from places with a huge number of infected individuals are kept in quarantine for two weeks in order to prevent the spread of the coronavirus to other members in their family or society. Simple, isn’t it? If you haven’t travelled from outside the state or country and not kept isolated in order to check if you are infected or not, you are NOT in quarantine.

Lockdown period or Quarantine time
India is under LOCKDOWN and so are we!

On the other hand, lockdown or shutdown refers to the general restrictions by the government on movement, work and travel in a city, state or country. Here, people may not be allowed to even enter or leave a building freely because of an emergency (COVID-19). The authorities could call for a lockdown during catastrophes like an epidemic, pandemic, riot or war.

Just to highlight, what might seem minuscule to many; when you want to express what you are doing, creating or planning during this time to your friends or followers, remember to indicate that you are enjoying yourself during the ‘lockdown period’.

A little tip: I generally also use #lockdown2020 for my social media posts during this period so that all my posts can be found under a single hashtag.

Cindy D'Silva
Cindy D'Silva
Cindy D'Silva, besides being a mother of two angels, is a belly dancer, writer and photographer. She loves partying, bowling and eating sushi. There is a detailed biography about her on the ABOUT ME page in case you would like to know more. :)You can like and follow her Facebook page to get all updates on the latest blogs and more: https://www.facebook.com/blogaberry/

33 Comments

  1. […] Here, I have listed down the top 6 simple ways to stay motivated during the lockdown. […]

  2. Richa sharma says:

    It was a much-needed article. Many folks are getting confused between these two words. Very well explain dear. Keep the good work up.

  3. Amrit Kaur says:

    Yes for me terms do matter and I prefer it calling as quarantine as lockdown is a wider term. Quarantine keeps us motivated and have a hope for everything to be better soon.

  4. Tina Basu says:

    Well, it is best to know the meanings of these words and use them correctly. Not everyone is quarantining since not everyone has the symptoms. I have been using lockdown more. But then if you check social media hashtags of #quarantineLife is the most popular one currently! So I am kind of using both now!

  5. Jhilmil says:

    General Media don’t even try to discuss it but surely we have to understand the difference between 2 most used words of 2020

  6. I have used quarantine in some of my posts because it was the in word 😀 but now that it’s all about the lockdown, I have come down to it. But yes, you are right we should always be careful about choosing the right words.

  7. Judy Morris says:

    That is so well explained. Indeed I also have given a thought about these terminologies. People do use them synonymously and quite irresponsibly also. Thanks for this informative post.

  8. I generously use lockdown and quarantined, but you have pointed out the right usage of words so well. I often talk about it in my Instagram quotes – pick the words wisely. Like the examples you have given to explain the crux of the article.

  9. Neha Jain says:

    Thanks for sharing this post, it’s really nice to know the difference..I was also confused between two as so many were using these words

  10. Roma says:

    That’s very well explained Cindy and I am glad you wrote on this because the terms are often used interchangeably which isn’t appropriate

  11. Varsh says:

    Our attitude determines how well or badly we’re handling a situation and is usually displayed through our behaviour and choice of words. Quarantine time has a hint of positivity and I would like my time to be just that.

  12. The same question was in my mind because the meanings quite differ. Agree on we should choose the appropriate word to explain the specific situation. Meaning can be changed.

    • Amrita says:

      People are hardly even listening to the lockdown rules,so its interesting to think that they will even worry about the word usage.Its a difficult time and staying positive is important.

  13. Alpana says:

    These are two different words with different meaning. But yes, I have seen people using, sharing their content using #quarantine hashtag. It is always best to first know the meaning and then share it. You have pointed out a very valid point. words do make a big difference.

  14. I admit to have been careless and using both words . Reading your post has clarified the correct word usage for me. Will be using the right term, Lockdown, from now on.

  15. Hey, glad you approached this subject because it was confusing for me too. Lockdown or Quarantine? Didn’t want to look stupid to ask anyone and too busy to Google. So now thanks to you I got an important lifelong lesson today.

  16. I totally agree with you. Having the correct knowledge of using the correct terms matter. We are in lockdown rather being quarantined.

  17. Gayathri says:

    Hey, yeah I was using Lockdown from the day one and saw many quarantine posts too
    But thanks for this informative post. Loved reading ❤️ it

  18. Abha Singh says:

    I never used quarantine but I noticed many people are using this word. Yes we are in lockdown. Very well said and nicely written.

  19. I didn’t know the difference between the two honestly but now I do. Thanks to your post, my vocabulary has increased during the lock-down.

  20. You have thrown some really good logic but in these days of social media, Grammar Nazis have taken a break. Ppl are free to voice themselves!

  21. Rajshree says:

    So true! A little play on words can change the entire meaning of the sentence. It’s best if we stay in lockdown to avoid being quarantined.

  22. Yes dear in whatever words we explain the situation, the gist is that the phase is difficult and we have to stay strong in this time.

  23. So well explained there are many who are lacking the basic difference between the two and use them anywhere they want I hope your post reaches to them. 🙂

  24. We are in lockdown and must stay in. Quarantine will happen if we come in contact with any corona positive patient. Informative post.

  25. Oh you cleared my doubt. Now I will be using lockdown in my posts.🙈 Choice of words is really important. Thanks for sharing.

  26. Ghunjain says:

    I too got confused as many use Quarantine and other use lockdown..but thank you so much for clearing the doubts and for detailed post.

  27. I totally agree & yet the interchange of terms went on without giving much thought. I liked what you stated & its such an interesting read. Happy lockdown in the meantime it ends

  28. Sundeep says:

    Yes we also noticed that. A lot of people are mistakenly using these two terms interchangeably while their meanings are very different. It is best to know the meaning of these terms before using it. Thanks for addressing the issue.

  29. Isnt the play fo words a strange place and how to can mean and allure to so many things …for something as granted as what we understood this article made me step back and was like wtf…I didnt see that. Awesome and so well written….

  30. […] speaking with a few friends and family members, I made a list of what all you could do during a lockdown period and otherwise whenever you get bored. While some people are busy with everyday house chores, office […]

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