Some helpful graffiti in Boston, in the US state of Massachusetts, on March 10, a day before the WHO declared the coronavirus a pandemic. Photo: Reuters Some helpful graffiti in Boston, in the US state of Massachusetts, on March 10, a day before the WHO declared the coronavirus a pandemic. Photo: Reuters
Some helpful graffiti in Boston, in the US state of Massachusetts, on March 10, a day before the WHO declared the coronavirus a pandemic. Photo: Reuters
Lisa Lim
Opinion

Opinion

Language Matters by Lisa Lim

The coronavirus is officially a pandemic, but where did the word come from?

  • Both evolved from ‘endemic’, which means something native to a particular place
  • Until the mid-19th century, ‘epidemic’ and ‘pandemic’ were interchangeable in medical dictionaries

Some helpful graffiti in Boston, in the US state of Massachusetts, on March 10, a day before the WHO declared the coronavirus a pandemic. Photo: Reuters Some helpful graffiti in Boston, in the US state of Massachusetts, on March 10, a day before the WHO declared the coronavirus a pandemic. Photo: Reuters
Some helpful graffiti in Boston, in the US state of Massachusetts, on March 10, a day before the WHO declared the coronavirus a pandemic. Photo: Reuters
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