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’.
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.
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.
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.
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.