Evolution and impact of the infodemic on the child population in times of COVID-19

Cevallos-Robalino et al.

The provision of timely, clear, correct information is an important strategy for controlling panic and containing a pandemic outbreak. However, as this task has not been prioritized in the context of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, a new lethal enemy has emerged that now poses another crisis, namely, the "infodemic", with consequences that have affected the entire population worldwide. In particular, it has increased the vulnerability of a group that is not often discussed: children, who constitute our study population. This article provides an analysis aimed at demystifying false constructs about the low impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the child population. It gives a chronological description of the different events that were the building blocks of the infodemic, affecting this population in three phases: first, at the onset of the pandemic, when its effects on children were ignored altogether; second, when children were stigmatized as "superspreaders"; and third, when the crisis resulting from a failure to transmit information to this population group became evident. The world is facing both the pandemic and a pressing need for communicative justice, which includes children as a primary target group. Taking a social determinants approach, this article proposes a new normal that includes using accurate and clear information to empower children to combat the infodemic virus from an early age.

Article's language
Opinion and analysis