Information, opinion and pandemic


Bernardes AT, Ribeiro LC. Information, opinion and pandemic. Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications [Internet]. 2021;565 :125586.


The world’s population suffers a COVID-19 pandemic. By September 2020 nearly 1 million people had died. These are official numbers. The real cases might be much higher, due to under-reporting in many countries. Different strategies were adopted by national governments. Neglecting what was defined by sanitarian authorities, some politicians, at the beginning of the pandemic, declared that it would be a little flu, without consequences, lighter than seasonal flues. Some politicians propagated medicines with no scientific support. In many countries and regions, people became confused. The population’s reactions to these political positions may facilitate or block the virus spread. In this paper, we propose a model connecting the spreading of opinions with the propagation of a pandemic. We discuss how conflicting opinions can diffuse in the pandemic environment and the influence it has on the population’s behavior; how it may cause a greater or smaller number of infected individuals.