We’ve all learned a lot these past three weeks about the coronavirus works, the different types of masks, how to pronounce “hydroxychloroquine.” Along with the knowledge and the data, we’ve all been encountering a whole new slew of acronyms for things most of us had never heard of before. We’ve compiled most of them here in this handy explainer.
ARDS — Acute respiratory distress syndrome
It’s when your lungs swell so fast they shut down and you start to turn blue. It’s associated with later stages of COVID-19.
ARI — Acute respiratory infection
This occurs when a bacterial or viral infection enters the body through the mouth or nose. In the case of the coronavirus, it manifests in a dry cough.
CDC — the Center for Disease Control and Prevention
Located in Atlanta, the CDC is a federal agency under the Department of Health & Human Services, or DHHS, charged with monitoring and improving the general health of American citizens. They keep data, run tests, consult with organizations, award grants for medical research and a lot of other functions. They’re keeping the federal coronavirus numbers at their website.
COVID-19 — Coronavirus Disease 2019
This is the disease caused by the novel coronavirus — the one that everybody’s talking about.
EIDL — Economic Impact Disaster Loan
The Small Business Administration has been authorized by the CARES Act — the $2 trillion relief package signed by President Trump on March 27 — to distribute $350 billion in loans to businesses with fewer than 500 employees. This is the one you can apply to through the SBA website.
N-95 — N-95 mask or respirator
This is the most common type of high-end retail facemasks, meeting standards set by the National Institute for Occupational Safety. The N-95 that protects the wearer from 95 percent of airborne particles, including the novel coronavirus, but not gasses or vapors. They’re generally form-shaped, with ear straps, and say “N-95” on them.
PPE — Personal protective equipment
This is any sort of clothing that protects the user from infection or bodily injury, that includes hardhats, sports gear and hazmat suits. In the case of the coronavirus, it is often used to generally refer to facemasks and gloves.
PPP — Payment Protection Program
This is another program offered by the SBA — not to be confused with the EIDL. The PPP is a loan made through existing financial institutions instead of directly from the SBA, designed to cover two-and-a-half months of payroll. If certain conditions are met, the loan is forgivable. The best bet for this one is to go through your bank.
SARS-CoV-2 — Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2
This is the official, medical name of the thing we call “coronavirus,” as set by the WHO.
WHO — World Health Organization
A part of the United Nations, the WHO monitors, directs and coordinates efforts to improve the health of humans on the planet. A lot of their work is centered in developing nations, but during the coronavirus pandemic their work has become even more significant.
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