Use the right words to show the seriousness of COVID-19

The conversation about this disease is being hijacked and politicized to put less emphasis on immediate risk to human life.

John Skylar, PhD

--

COVID-19 is, of course, something everyone is talking about, but I am not sure that we are paying enough attention to the words that are being used to talk about it.

Photo by Victor He on Unsplash

The narrative right now in a lot of countries is being dominated by word choices that serve very specific agendas, and many of them are not ones that have the best interests of the average citizen at their core. Instead of presenting dangers in a straightforward way, this language uses euphemisms to hide the dangers and obscure the facts.

I’ll give you an example. Lately, I hear a lot of people talking about “opening up the economy.” This is a loaded phrase. “The economy” is treated as a monolith, and it is either open or it is closed. When it is closed, this conjures up negative connotations because being closed is generally a bad thing for economies. When you go to the store and it is closed, it means you can’t use the store. This does not immediately call to attention that the person who opens the store could die.

There is still an economy right now. It is ailing, but it is not “closed.” Things are being…

--

--

John Skylar, PhD

Virologist, author, damn fool. Also found at www.johnskylar.com and www.betterworlds.org. Opinions my own, impressions yours.