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Contributed by Kaivac, Inc. 

The pandemic has spurred several acronyms and terms that are now part of our everyday lingo. While some are new, others are older terms that have acquired new meanings.

A perfect example is “social distancing.” In the past, it referred to, well, keeping a little distance between you and someone you might not want to run into. But now it means finding ways to be with people while reducing the infection risks of close contact.

Here are some other pandemic-related terms that have worked their way into our everyday vocabulary: 

1.   Shutdown order – requires a facility to close its doors partially or totally.

2.   Contact tracing – Used to identify and notify people who have been exposed to someone with an infectious disease.

3.   Community spread – Spread of an infectious disease within a community.

4.   Essential business – Businesses that people rely on every day

5.   Flattening the curve - A public health strategy to slow down a disease. 

6.   Indiscriminate disinfecting – The overuse of disinfectants.

7.   Zoom tourists – When others check out your home while on a video call.

8.   WFH — Work From Home.

9.   N-95/KN-95 — U.S./Chinese masks that filter the air, protecting us from inhaling infectious particles.

10.  HFFE – High Flow Fluid Extraction

HFFE pertains specifically to the professional cleaning industry, according to Matt Morrison, communications manager with Kaivac.

“It refers to no-touch or, as ISSA calls it, spray-and-vac cleaning technologies. These apply cleaning solution to surfaces, rinse clean the same areas, and then vacuum-up soils and contaminants. HFFE is also used when discussing infection prevention strategies."

The actual origins of the term are not known. Some credit it to Dr. Jay Glasel, a Professor at the Department of Microbial, Molecular and Structural Biology at the University of Connecticut in Farmington, Connecticut because he was such as strong advocate for HFFE.

"Words reflect our present environment," says Morrison. "Right now, stopping the spread of infection is on everyone’s mind. This suggests why terms such as HFFE have come to light due, all due to COVID-19."