Share this:

Salute covers the differences in Quarantine and Isolation as used in the U.S. for COVID-19.

During this time, communicating effectively is more important than ever and understanding the meaning or significance of certain words can make a world of difference. Common understanding helps with efficient dialogue but it absolutely ensures better outcomes.

Miscommunication Can End In Tragedy

One story that has served as a great example of the importance of the meaning behind words and ensuring understanding happened during the LA riots in 1992. After President Bush invoked the Insurrection Act, law enforcement and the military found themselves working together to quell the unrest. During one joint patrol, composed of LAPD and Marines, an officer was hit by a shotgun blast of birdshot while approaching a house. He called back to the Marines to cover him. Unfortunately, what “cover” meant to the Marines and to the LAPD were two different things. The officer just wanted the deterrent of automatic weapons pointed at the house to keep the shooter from shooting again. The Marines, on the other hand, thought 200 rounds fired at the house was enough “cover”. They may have both been right – but in different environments.

Quarantine vs. Isolation

Fast forward to our current pandemic crisis and you find once again that people are using words that mean different things to different people. As we all must take appropriate action to minimize the risk to our families, co-workers and clients, it is essential that we use words in which the definition is clear and understood by all.  The foundation is understanding the difference between keywords such as Quarantine and Isolation.  The difference is based on exposure. The actions you take will depend on what you understand. When medical personnel or employer leadership instruct you and use these terms, your understanding and adherence to the protocols will prevent what could be dire outcomes. Don Denning has put this simple video together for our workforce, which continues to deliver essential services at data centers around the world.  We are sharing it for all to benefit.  If you have questions or comments, feel free to contact us at

We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By agreeing you accept the use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.