This article suggests that we need to be conscientious with our language when discussing COVID-19 so that we do not deter people from taking personal action to help reduce the spread of the virus.
The messaging around COVID-19 has demonstrated how important language is in characterizing our perceptions of the outbreak. Naturalizing the rise of a pandemic as a “perfect storm” might imply that a health crisis is beyond the scope of human agency, which downplays our capacity to effect change. Using a perfect storm metaphor frames the issue as being a product of chance and dismisses the efficacy of public health prevention efforts. COVID-19 is not simply a natural event; its emergence and containment is the result of human action (and inaction).