Outrage and anger in a global pandemic: flipping the script on healthcare

ABSTRACT: Amidst a global pandemic, outrage and anger over the death of a Black man at the hands of a White police officer spread globally. The protests exposed generations of institutional racism and socio-economic inequities in many countries. This editorial explores the socio-economic inequities that have left those in racially segregated marginalized communities most at risk from COVID 19. It offers a cyclical view of the relationship between socio-economic inequities and health outcomes, suggesting that once these inequities are addressed, then health outcomes can improve. There is an important role to be played by ICTs in enabling a positive cycle to take place. The papers in this issue reflect the ways in which the socio-economic indicators can be increased to support better health outcomes for people in low SES communities. They uncover the key issues facing communities offering healthcare service to their constituents and move the field forward by showing the ways in which ICTs may support a positive cycle of development and health outcomes.

Keywords: COVID-19, socio-economic inequities, Healthcare, World Economic Forum, Outrage

Pandemics within the pandemic: confronting socio-economic inequities in a datafied world

ABSTRACT: The pandemic has brought to light and exacerbated inequities that have plagued the world even before COVID-19 spread. Despite its medical and technological advances, much of the western world was unprepared for what its people faced. With a death toll and mortality rates unseen in modern times, the datafied world amidst some populist regimes witnessed additional pandemics within the pandemic of raging infections. In the changing world broadband internet access is becoming more essential to enabling people to lead their lives while locked-down and/or in quarantine. People become accustomed to accessing healthcare information, resources and providers through mobile and or other devices for their COVID 19 information, while tracking and tracing is being carried out using mobile applications. Those at the margins become vulnerable to digital biopolitics or efforts by governments and corporations to maximize knowledge and control of populations using digital means for political and economic power. In this the datafied society, increased data surveillance offered cause for activism and fight for human rights and freedoms. This also referred to as the datafied pandemic in which life revolves on the internet more than ever through access to tools, basic services, and social environments. Within these digital divides, the forces of globalization forge ahead with perils and promises. These issues are explored in this editorial and ways of tackling the pandemics offered in the light of papers in this issue. ICT4D research offers ways in which we may together create a better world for all.

Keywords: COVID-19, Quarantine, mobile application, Datafied pandemic, social environments