LATENT//Missing: On Missing Values, Narrative Power, and Data Politics in Discourse of COVID-19
April is National Minority Health Month in the United States. The first week of April is National Public Health Week. This year, both occasions passed as the COVID-19 pandemic unfolded and, in the process, rendered remarkably clear the magnitude of the United States’ collective shortcomings in advancing population health equity—particularly as related to dominant narratives of health and data politics. Drawing from critical theory, I use essay to contextualize present COVID-19 discourse and poetry to situate this discourse within a broader historical arc of the United States’ racist, classist, and homophobic proclivities in times of public health crises. I use the combination of essay/poem as creative praxis to analyze and reflect on our present moment in relation to public health pasts and to raise questions about public health research, education, and data futures—offering a critical commentary on the intersections of infectious diseases, structural inequality (e.g., racism), data politics, and public health violence.
© 2020 Society for Public Health Education
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Petteway, R. J. (2020). LATENT//Missing: On Missing Values, Narrative Power, and Data Politics in Discourse of COVID-19. Health Education & Behavior, 47(5), 671–676.