The word on everyone's lips at the moment - COVID. It's changed lots of things in our lives, including our vocabulary.
From newspaper and TV headlines to signs on every public door and window, the everyday reminders are pretty much unavoidable.
What we can change and control is how we talk all about the virus. Knowledge is power. Poor information could help disease spread and increase panic; good information could help halt it.
Think before you speak
'Spreading like wildfire', 'devastating', 'critical levels', 'deaths rising', ‘killer virus’, 'lockdown is coming', 'crisis point', 'avoidable job losses'...
The news does a good enough job at raising our anxiety levels, so let's avoid doing it to each other. Like other emotions, fear is contagious and can spread swiftly, so it's important to think before you speak.
You don't know how worried or anxious someone may feel about the virus and what their current personal circumstances might be. It might not scare you, but some people have been so overwhelmed by the media and news in recent months, they have not sought vital medical care and treatment for life threatening or debilitating health issues.
Stick to the facts, don't spread rumours and avoid stigmatising those who may be suffering or who are asymptomatic. People have been affected by coronavirus in different ways, so your words really do matter.
Stop the spread of rumours
We're not saying don't talk about it ever again, it's important to keep having conversations about coronavirus, but only sharing the facts.
Don't repeat or share unconfirmed rumours and avoid using language designed to generate fear like 'plague' and 'killer virus' or phrases that stigmatise against groups of people.
The official name for the disease was deliberately chosen to avoid stigmatisation - the “co” stands for Corona, “vi” for virus
and “d” for disease, 19 is because the disease emerged in 2019.
Do talk positively and emphasise the effectiveness of protective measures, as well as regular testing and treatment.
North East Lincolnshire Council are providing local updates and information about restrictions in place on their website, along with guidance and community support available to residents.
Can you rephrase that?
Sometimes you can imply guilt with your words and you might not even realise it. Just like with the words 'committed suicide', it is wrong to use criminalising terminology when referring to people who may have contracted the virus.
Talk about 'acquiring' or 'contracting' Covid-19. Don't refer to people with the disease as 'cases' or 'victims'. Avoid talking
about people 'transmitting the virus', 'infecting others' or 'spreading Covid' as it implies intentional transmission and assigns unnecessary blame.
Want to talk about it?
There's no shame asking for help. It's easier said than done, but try not to talk yourself out of seeking for support. We spend a lot of time making sure everyone else is okay, often forgetting about ourselves.
If you need help, we're here 24/7. Call the 24/7 coronavirus line on (01472) 256256 and select option 3.