COVID-19 as a Metaphor: Understanding COVID-19 Through Social Media Users

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DISASTER MEDICINE AND PUBLIC HEALTH PREPAREDNESS, vol.17, no.8, 2023 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 17 Issue: 8
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.1017/dmp.2022.83
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, PASCAL, CAB Abstracts, CINAHL, EMBASE, MEDLINE
  • Keywords: COVID-19, pandemic, metaphor, social media, phenomenology, PERCEPTIONS
  • Anadolu University Affiliated: Yes


Objective: This study, which aims to reveal the metaphorical perceptions of social media users regarding the term, COVID-19, is in accordance with the phenomenological method. Method: The phenomenological method was used in this study. In July 2020, a total of 125 social media users voluntarily participated in this research study and were asked to derive metaphors regarding the concept of COVID-19. Results: With the participation of social media users, metaphors about COVID-19 were determined. These metaphors, which were provided completely voluntarily in response to social media posts, reveals that the participants approached the COVID-19 phenomenon with a variety of meanings. Conclusions: When the metaphors derived by the participants are examined through different categories, it can be seen that a variety of metaphors are produced and almost all of them attribute negative meanings to COVID-19. A significant part of the metaphors evoke disasters and unexpected events. The absence of more hopeful metaphors regarding the end of the pandemic, may stem from the fact that this study took place during the middle of the pandemic, when discussions of the "new normal" were being made just after the first wave.