Self-quarantine vs self-isolation

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Self-quarantine and self-isolation are two terms that have come into much more frequent use recently and mean two different things. Self-quarantine and self-isolation are compound words, which are words that are derived from two separate words joined together. A hyphenated compound word is a compound word that is composed of two or more words linked by hyphens. In general, hyphenated compound words are midway on the journey between being rendered as separate words, or an open compound word, to being rendered as one word, or a closed compound word . We will examine the definitions of self-quarantine and self-isolation, where they came from, and some examples of their use in sentences.

Self-quarantine means to separate oneself from others because one has been exposed to a disease. The person who is in self-quarantine may have no symptoms, and indeed, may never become ill. However, to stop the spread of an epidemic, it is sometimes necessary to ask citizens to self-quarantine if they have been exposed to an illness and may have contracted that illness. The word self-quarantine is a hyphenated compound word composed of the word self, which means a particular person, and quarantine, which means a period of separation from others. Self-quarantine may be used as a noun or a verb; related words are self-quarantines, self-quarantined, self-quarantining. The word self-quarantine has been in use since 1918, at the time of the Spanish flu epidemic.

Self-isolation means to separate oneself from others because one is ill. The person who is in self-isolation in a medical sense has symptoms and is ill. Obviously, it is important to separate oneself from others when one’s illness is communicable. The word self-isolation is a hyphenated compound word composed of the word self, which means a particular person, and isolation, which means to be apart. Self-isolation is a noun; the verb forms are self-isolate, self-isolates, self-isolated, self-isolating. The word self-isolation came into use in the 1830s.


A strict executive order requiring travelers to Maine to self-quarantine for two weeks after arriving has triggered confusion, frustration and concern from legions of rusticators used to spending summers basking in Maine’s natural beauty. (The Portland Press Herald)

A California couple allegedly scoffed at Hawai‘i’s mandatory traveler self-quarantine mandate and were arrested yesterday by special agents from the Dept. of the Attorney General. (The Mercury News)

In between all that handwashing and waves of anxiety and stress from being in self-isolation or lockdown, here are some podcasts, online classes and unique websites that will help you relax and put things in perspective. (The Daily Sabah)

If your mental health is suffering during these periods of self-isolation, here are some ways you can ensure that your emotional and mental well-being are safeguarded. (Gulf Today)