Familiar as this new pandemic vocabulary has become, there are still terms that often get mixed up both in the media discourse and ordinary conversations.
Isolation and Quarantine – these are maybe the most common, but two that easily get confused.
Isolation only refers to those who, after testing positive for COVID-19, have to keep away from others so as to not infect them, including members of the same household.
Should another member of the household also test positive, they should also isolate. If not, they would have to stay quarantined.
Quarantine is used to refer to those people who are not tested positive to COVID-19 but have been in contact with a recognized case; amid the uncertainty of being asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic, they stay away from other people so as to prevent the risk of spreading the infection.
In both cases people are likely staying at home, keeping away from others: knowing the right term to use is but a formality.