Published: April 30, 2020


Using war as a metaphor for illness during a pandemic or global crisis is not just a contemporary occurrence. “There is an ancient and cross-cultural tendency to frame disease in terms of war,” said Lisa Keranen, Associate Professor of Communication, and a medical rhetorician who studies how we speak about viruses and other biological threats. She noted that some scholars have located centuries-old uses in China of defensive and martial language to talk about defending your health.

Pandemics are not wars
Vox, April 15