Volume 22, Issue 2, 2021

COVID-19 Pandemic and Media

Gerardo de la Fuente LoraOrcid-ID
Pages 7-15

Mathesis Universalis
Ten Theses on the COVID-19 Pandemic and Mathematics

One of the most surprising elements, within the already unprecedented situation created by the COVID-19 pandemic, is the space suddenly occupied by mathematics in the world, in terms of processing public policy decisions, as well as in forms of daily communication about the disease. This essay explores ten theses about how mathematics is, and will be perceived, in a world altered by the pandemic. The different human groups facing the COVID-19 pandemic and the proliferation of messages, figures, concepts, and quantitative debates that it entails, reveals an aesthetic rather than mathematical use of the numerical. Moreover, the presence of mathematics in public debate is an indicator of the very high capacity for formal and deductive reasoning and abstraction that humanity as a whole currently possesses. However, as governments mistrusted their populations’ ability to understand, on one hand, they resolved to establish media communication about the disease in mathematical terms, and on the other, they promoted intense campaigns of fear to make people accept the unprecedented confinement due to the pandemic. Nonetheless, in the future, mathematics will increasingly become the language of politics.