The word “pandemic comes from the Greek ‘pandemos’. Demos means the population, Pan meaning everyone. So ‘pandemos’ is a concept where there’s a belief that the whole world’s population will likely be exposed to this infection and potentially a proportion of them fall sick.
Expressing alarm over rising infections and slow responses by the governments, the World Health Organization (WHO) today declared the coronavirus crisis a pandemic. A pandemic is defined as the “worldwide spread” of a new disease. The last pandemic reported in the world was the H1N1 flu in 2009, which killed millions globally.
The word ‘pandemic’ comes from the Greek ‘pandemos’. ‘Demos’ means the population and ‘pan’ means everyone. So, ‘pandemos’ is a concept where the world’s population will likely be exposed to the infection and potentially a large proportion of them will fall sick.
The word itself invokes alarm, and it could have repercussions depending on how it’s used and who uses it. The current outbreak comes close to the technical criteria for a pandemic, when a new infection, against which most people do not have immunity, mushrooms across continents. That’s a bigger threat than an “epidemic,” which refers to a more constrained spread to a specific country or area.
What does pandemic mean for you?
Just use of the word “pandemic” in place of “outbreak” or “epidemic” makes the governments extra cautious as it may trigger greater panic.
It could trigger a more severe emergency-grade response from the countries at local and the state levels. For example in India, the government has already suspended all the tourists visas till April 15th.
Governments may take more steps for encouraging social distancing. Governments will try to find ways to limit personal interactions like shutting down schools, encouraging employees to work from home to prevent further spread.
Businesses may also encourage video-conferencing to replace in-person contacts. More public events will also be cancelled.