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Listening Level : MID / HIGH – Talking about the Pandemic – Coronavirus

por Jun 7, 2020Listening High, Listening Mid1 Comentario

Listen to the audio and answer the questions (they are in order). When you are happy with your answers, listen again while you read the transcript and check your answers at the bottom.
Please ask us any questions you have in the comment section at the bottom of the page.

1. What two words can we use to describe staying in your house during the pandemic?
2. An expression that describes keeping 6 feet away from other people.
3. What did British people do as an alternative to shaking hands?
4. What is shielding?
5. People who carry the virus but show no signs are called what?
6. A word that means to have an illness confirmed by a doctor.
7. A word that means someone can pass an illness on to another person.
8. What does PPE stand for?
9. What do we call someone who breaks the rules of lockdown, seen as someone stupid.
10. A word that means getting paid by the government but not going to work.
11. The De-escalation plan in the UK is referred to as what?

I´m going to talk to you a little bit about the current global situation – the Coronavirus, Covid19 pandemic
When the pandemic hit, most of the world’s countries put their citizens into a state of lockdown or quarantine. These two words are interchangeable. In the UK, we took longer than you did in Spain to go into lockdown, at first our government thought that social distancing would be enough to protect the nation. Social distancing means keeping 6ft or just under 2 meters distance between each person. We were told to wash our hands very frequently and on each occasion for as long as it takes to sing happy birthday twice. This would make sure that we were washing them thoroughly enough.
We were also told to stop shaking hands with people to elbow bump instead. We were shown how to sneeze and cough safely, into your elbow instead of your hand as most people are used to doing.
The elderly, people over the age of 70 were told to shield themselves, this basically means that they must stay at home and avoid contact with people as they are the very vulnerable.
We can talk about someone who has contracted the virus as a carrier (someone who carries the virus) or asymptomatic, someone who has the disease but shows no signs or symptoms.
If someone is diagnosed with the virus they can be described as contagious and must go into isolation. If someone has minor symptoms and thinks they may have the virus, they must self-isolate.
After that, as the virus spread, we were them put on lockdown except for essential workers such as police, health care workers, supermarket employees …
In the UK we saw many videos of Spanish people applauding nightly for the essential workers, showing your gratitude for the amazing job they are doing. We copied your idea in England and we did it every Thursday night for ten weeks.
Some new vocabulary has come about during this time, here are some words that were either new or unfamiliar to me:

 SOCIAL DISTANCING: staying at least 6 ft away from other people while out in public

PPE – Personal protective equipment – this includes masks, gloves, and goggles. Many countries have had problems with a lack of PPE in hospitals, nursing homes and in general.

QUARENTINI: This is a play on the word Martini but really refers to any alcoholic drink drunk during quarantine
COVIDIOT : We use this to talk about someone who isn´t taking care to follow the norms. For example: it was a beautiful weekend and the beach was full of COVIDIOTS swimming, sunbathing and having picnics.
ELBOW BUMPING : This was introduced as an alternative to shaking hands….
FURLOUGH : this is not a new word but a very old word that has come into use. If some is Furloughed from work, it means that they on leave ( not working) with pay.
TELEWORKING – This is what many of us are having to do now, work from home using the computer and telephone to communicate, have meetings etc.


A lot of American people are also talking about the quarantine 15 which refers to the 15 pounds or 7 kilos that a lot of people have put on during lockdown due to the sedentary lifestyle and comfort eating.


Most recently, many countries have been relaxing the restrictions or implementing the lifting of lockdown which in Spain I know is referred to as the de-escalation plan and is happening in phases.


Right now, in Britain we are quite confused as to what we can and can´t do as the prime minister made a very unclear statement about the new rules last week. My parents are 95 years old and are therefore shielding at home. I am allowed to visit them as their carer or caregiver so as you can imagine, we are taking extra care to make sure we are safe and healthy.


I hope everyone who listens to this is safe and sound…. We have the famous expression in England which is Keep Calm and Carry On. In this moment it seems quite appropriate. It’s a matter of taking each day as it comes and trying to relax as much as you can.

1. Lockdown , quarantine
2. Social distancing
3. Bump elbows / Elbow bump
4. People over 70 years old staying at home and not interacting with any other people.
5. Asymptomatic
6. Diagnosed
7. Contagious
8. Personal protective equipment
9. Covidiot
10. Furlough
11. relaxing the restrictions/ lifting of lockdown

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