Why is the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic? It means it’s new and it’s spreading around the world. At first the coronavirus was called an outbreak. Then, on March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced it was going to start calling it a pandemic. What’s a pandemic? A pandemic is a new virus that’s infecting a lot of people. It can sound scary, but watch the video to find out why the situation may not be as bad as you think.