Narratives of the Coronavirus Pandemic:
Conspiracies, Prophesies, Punishment, Curse, Remedies, Stigma And Prejudice
This article draws attention to the narrative discourses and interpretations of coronavirus (COVID-19), on social media, with the objective to proffer knowledge for decision making in responding to the pandemic in the Zimbabwean context. The study employs qualitative research methods of text analysis and relies on descriptive techniques in the analysis of those narratives of the pandemic. Narratives were categorized into four domains :-( a) conspiracy theories, (b) prophesies: punishment or curse, (c) remedies, and (d) stigma and prejudice. As evidenced in a number of narratives, the study established that the current COVID-19 outbreak is spurring fear on a societal as well as on an individual level. It is steadfastly giving entrenched ways of seeing the world as a violent place. The study has taken the position that the rumors that are circulating are as a result of lack of accurate and consistent information and messages. Luckily, the fears inspired by conspiracy theories now exist in parallel with knowledge of how the virus is transmitted; hence people understand that COVID-19 is real. People are increasingly realizing that the coronavirus infects all human beings, regardless of race or socio-economic standing. The study suggests that Individuals need to be enlightened that the coronavirus, and any other views that instigate a form of discrimination, should not be condoned. The study hopes that the post-COVID-19 narrative will embrace a third truth, that people may care about others in negative as well as positive ways.
Copyright (c) 2020 Enesiti Chirume
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