I guess you can call me a word nerd, but I recoil when folks drone on (and on) about COVID-19 and their take on “the facts”. Any time, but especially in an emergency, it is necessary to choose your words carefully. Please, please, please don’t speak if you don’t know for a fact. Consider the following words not to be used lightly and certainly not interchangeably:
Miriam Webster says this about “Lockdown”:
Definition of lockdown, noun
1: the confinement of prisoners to their cells for all or most of the day as a temporary security measure
2: an emergency measure or condition in which people are temporarily prevented from entering or leaving a restricted area or building (such as a school) during a threat of danger… the school went on lockdown when a student brought a pellet gun to campus.
The Federal Center for Preparedness and Response, says this about “Shelter In Place”:
Shelter in Place
“Shelter in place” means to make a shelter out of the place you are in. It is a way for you to make the building as safe as possible to protect yourself until help arrives.
How to know if you need to shelter in place
Most likely you will only need to shelter for a few hours.
- If there is a “code red” or “severe” terror alert, you should pay attention to radio and television broadcasts to know right away whether a shelter-in-place alert is announced for your area.
- You will hear from the local police, emergency coordinators, or government on the radio and on television emergency broadcast system if you need to shelter in place.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says this about “Quarantine”:
Quarantine separates and restricts the movement of people who were exposed to a contagious disease to see if they become sick.
Quarantine means separating a person or group of people who have been exposed to a contagious disease but have not developed illness (symptoms) from others who have not been exposed, in order to prevent the possible spread of that disease. Quarantine is usually established for the incubation period of the communicable disease, which is the span of time during which people have developed illness after exposure. For COVID-19, the period of quarantine is 14 days from the last date of exposure, because 14 days is the longest incubation period seen for similar coronaviruses. Someone who has been released from COVID-19 quarantine is not considered a risk for spreading the virus to others because they have not developed illness during the incubation period.
Is Harris County under lockdown? NO!
Is Harris County under a shelter in place order? NO!
Is Harris County being quarantined? NO!
Please get it right. What you say matters.
What you say can feed anxiety or quash it.
Fact: Harris County is under a Stay Home, Work Safe order of the Harris County Judge and the Mayor of the City of Houston. That’s it. If you would like to know exactly what that means, please read these official documents:
Did you hear …..??? Me, too. Isn’t it ridiculous? That’s why Encore Caregivers is spending so much time to verify, verify, verify.