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Med Humanit ; 49(2): 272-277, 2023 Jun.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-36600592


Since its debut, Mary Shelley's Frankenstein has, fittingly, assumed a life of its own. In today's cultural landscape, the mere mention of 'mutant' evokes the language of Othering, including Frankensteinian metaphors, such as those used to describe the omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2. When scientists referred to omicron as a Frankenstein variant, they demonstrated the inherent mutability of the myth-a myth that is crucial in biomedicine. In this article, the authors examine the shifting nature of Frankenstein metaphors and consider how they function in what Priscilla Wald refers to as outbreak narratives in the context of the USA's COVID-19 policies. The authors point to the ready instatement of travel bans as evidence of how such a potent myth is used to create and sell public policy. In response to such xenophobic policies, the authors apply Donna Haraway's concept of 'boundary breakdowns' in order to reimagine relationships with mutancy. They examine how moving past the idea of mutant is other in contemporary virus narratives may offer a way to reconfigure our relationships of self and other and move beyond the hegemonic and nativist policies of the present.

COVID-19 , Medicina na Literatura , Humanos , Metáfora , SARS-CoV-2