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  • Hey, all you language lovers out there.

  • I am releasing this off schedule because it's a timely topic.

  • You might even call it an emergency pod

  • If you're familiar with the podcasting world. Let's get started.

  • Today, CNN announced it would be calling the coronavirus disease COVID-19 a pandemic, even though the World Health Organization and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control are sticking with epidemic for now.

  • So what's the difference between a pandemic and an epidemic?

  • Well, generally speaking, a pandemic is more severe, it's more serious than an epidemic.

  • A pandemic spreads wider and affects more people.

  • According to the CDC, an epidemic is an increase, often sudden, in the number of cases of a disease above what is normally expected in that population in that area.

  • And a pandemic is an epidemic that has spread over several countries or continents, usually affecting a large number of people.

  • Those definitions are subjective.

  • It's not as if there's a scientific test that reveals that yes, suddenly, at this one moment we meet the criteria for a pandemic.

  • But since the virus has now affected more than 100,000 people worldwide, (it) is in more than 100 countries and is on every continent except Antarctica ...

  • COIVD-19 seems to meet the general criteria for a pandemic.

  • In fact, in a press conference this morning, the director general of the World Health Organization said quote: "The threat of a pandemic has become very real" unquote, but community transmission is still limited to a smaller number of countries.

  • The executive director of the World Health Organization World Emergencies Program, Mike Ryan, said that if this were influenza, they would have already called it a pandemic.

  • But he further explained their resistance to using the word by citing concerns that doing so could cause more harm than good.

  • He said, for me, I'm not worried about the word.

  • I'm worried about the world's reaction to the word.

  • Will we use it as call to action?

  • Will we use it to fight or will we use it to give up?

  • Also, here's a bit of help with the terminology because it can be confusing.

  • The disease was originally called the 2019 novel coronavirus.

  • According to the World Health Organization, the official name of the virus is severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, SARS-CoV-2 for short.

  • And the name of the disease is coronavirus disease, or COVID-19.

  • So much like HIV is the virus that causes AIDS,

  • SARS-CoV-2 is the virus that causes COVID-19.

  • If you're wondering about the origins of the words, the demic part comes from the Greek word demos, which means people.

  • It's the same root that gives us the word democratic, which means government by the people.

  • "Epi" in epidemic means among or upon.

  • So an epidemic is among the people or upon the people, and "pan" means all so a pandemic is affecting all the people.

  • Like the executives from the World Health Organization, I urge you to not give up.

  • COVID-19 maybe a pandemic.

  • But we can fight it.

  • We can slow it down. That's all, thanks for watching!

Hey, all you language lovers out there.

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B2 pandemic epidemic health organization world health disease organization

‘Pandemic’ vs. ‘Epidemic’—What's the Difference?

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    林宜悉 posted on 2020/03/16
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