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10 ways COVID-19 changed the world

Live Science Logo By Live Science staff of Live Science | Slide 2 of 11:            A number of new words and phrases entered the general lexicon in 2020. We were told we need to "social distance," or stay six feet apart, so that we could "flatten the curve," or slow the disease's spread in order to reduce the burden on the healthcare system. People even became familiar with relatively obscure epidemiological terms like the "basic reproduction number" (R0, pronounced R-nought), or the average number of people who catch the virus from a single infected person. And of course the name of the illness itself, COVID-19, is a new term, with the World Health Organization officially naming the disease on Feb. 11 2020.

New vocabulary

A number of new words and phrases entered the general lexicon in 2020. We were told we need to "social distance," or stay six feet apart, so that we could "flatten the curve," or slow the disease's spread in order to reduce the burden on the healthcare system. People even became familiar with relatively obscure epidemiological terms like the "basic reproduction number" (R0, pronounced R-nought), or the average number of people who catch the virus from a single infected person. And of course the name of the illness itself, COVID-19, is a new term, with the World Health Organization officially naming the disease on Feb. 11 2020.

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