A pandemic of metrics

Vincanne Adams, Clare Chandler, Ann H. Kelly, Julie Livingston

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    The COVID-19 pandemic prompted critical attention to the performative power of metrics. We suggest that the existential capacities of metrics as a means of pandemic living warrant further consideration. We describe how the COVID-19 pandemic that came into existence as a public health and political event could only have occurred because of the anticipatory metrical practices that were used to transform SARS-COV-2 into a matter of global health concern. By exploring the affective potencies of COVID-19 metrics we show their abilities to engage the public in ways that cannot be contained; in detailing the narrative arcs created through metrics we show their opportunities, misdirections, and erasures. A pandemic way of life persists: a pandemic of metrics.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)149-163
    Number of pages15
    JournalMedical Anthropology Quarterly
    Issue number2
    StatePublished - Jun 2024


    • affective publics
    • Covid-19
    • global health
    • metrics
    • pandemics

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Anthropology


    Dive into the research topics of 'A pandemic of metrics'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this