10 ways COVID-19 changed the world

The year 2020 was defined by the coronavirus pandemic, arguably the worst pandemic the world has seen in 100 years. COVID-19 has caused more than 75 million cases and 1.6 million deaths worldwide as of mid-December. The illness has affected nearly every aspect of life, from work and school to everyday activities like getting groceries, and even our wardrobes. 

Here are just some of the ways COVID-19 changed the world in 2020.

New vocabulary 

Flattening the curve refers to community isolation measures that keep the daily number of disease cases at a manageable level for medical providers.

(Image credit: CDC)

A number of new words and phrases entered the general lexicon in 2020. We were told we need to “social distance,” or stay six feet apart, so that we could “flatten the curve,” or slow the disease’s spread in order to reduce the burden on the healthcare system. People even became familiar with relatively obscure epidemiological terms like the “basic reproduction number” (R0, pronounced R-nought), or the average number of people who catch the virus from a single infected person. And of course the name of the illness itself, COVID-19, is a new term, with the World Health Organization officially naming the disease on Feb. 11.

Wardrobe addition  

Cloth face masks

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

The must-have fashion item of 2020 was a small piece of cloth to put around your face. 

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