Viral Ideas of the Pandemic Moment

“The meanings that COVID-19 takes on in different contexts is a result of the different ways it is being mediated – public health officials, news media, Hollywood, and the new spaces of social media. These representations are not neutral. All have consequences for what it means to live in the time of COVID-19. They influence … Watch video »

“The meanings that COVID-19 takes on in different contexts is a result of the different ways it is being mediated – public health officials, news media, Hollywood, and the new spaces of social media. These representations are not neutral. All have consequences for what it means to live in the time of COVID-19. They influence fundamental ideas about who is at risk and who is not, about vulnerability and invulnerability. They authorize germ panic, economies of fear and blame. These are the viral ideas of our pandemic moment.”

The film explores the social cultural side of the pandemic. It examines the media response and its effects. It looks at the rise of racism connected to fear surrounding the virus, increased police power and other effects.

Written and produced by Penelope Ironstone and Garry Potter. Narration by Liza Nicklin. Original music by Liza Nicklin.

Penelope Ironstone is Associate Professor, Department of Communication Studies and MA in Cultural Analysis and Social Theory, and the book review editor for the Canadian Journal of Communication.

Garry Potter is a film maker and Professor of Sociology at Wilfrid Laurier University. He has made a number of educational films, which are available for purchase at socialtheoryfilms.com. As well as these he has made three free feature length documentary films Whispers of Revolution, Dystopia: What is to be done? and (with Stephen Svenson) Contract Faculty: Injustice in the University. He is also author of the book Dystopia, as well as The Bet: Truth in Science, Literature and Everyday Knowledges and The Philosophy of Social Science: New Perspectives. He can be reached at gpotter@wlu.ca.