On war metaphors, communicating uncertainty, avoiding stigmatizing language during COVID-19
The 4th webinar in the COVID19: Ask the Experts series hosted by DBT/Wellcome Trust India Alliance (India Alliance), THSTI, IAVI, and Nature India on 17 April aimed to understand and deconstruct the role that language plays when we talk about a pandemic. A “People's War”, “tackling the pandemic on a war footing” and “wartime president” are just a few in what is a long list of war metaphors being frequently used in the media and other places to highlight the impact and scale of the crisis. But is comparing a pandemic to war needed? How does the use of such metaphors influence public understanding of the health crisis and, ultimately, their response to the crisis?