20 words & phrases that defined 2020: Quarantine

2020 has been a year of upheaval and crisis – one that was shaped by the coronavirus pandemic. It also saw significant developments, such as a general election in Singapore and the United States electing its next leader. In this 12-day series, The Straits Times spotlights 20 words or phrases that defined 2020.

People walking across the Causeway from Malaysia towards Woodlands Checkpoint on March 17, 2020. PHOTO: ST FILE
Student Jaz Loh played Home on the balcony of the Shangri-La Rasa Sentosa Resort & Spa. PHOTO: MADHURA RAO
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BEIJING - Before 2020, "quarantine" was usually reserved for imported livestock, plants and even pets.

Twelve months in, the word has expanded into the lexicon of nearly everyone whose life has been touched by Covid-19. In Singapore, it is used to refer to those under observation in government facilities, or on a strict home isolation regime, as a result of being in close contact with someone who has been infected.

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