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