How the 5G Enabled the COVID-19 Pandemic Prevention and Control: Materiality, Affordance, and (De-)Spatialization

Gaoyong Li, Xin Zhang, Ge Zhang
2022 International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health  
5G, the most disruptive innovation, had played a significant role in the COVID-19 pandemic prevention and control. However, as a novel technology and context, we have little knowledge about how 5G enabled pandemic prevention and control. This study collected 212 cases and conducted qualitative research to explore how the 5G worked in prevention and control. Based on the concepts of materiality and affordance, we grounded two affordances of spatialization and de-spatialization from the data.
more » ... ialization provides non-contact ways to complete the tasks which are supposed to be completed in contact, and de-spatialization provides remote operations to complete the tasks which are supposed to be completed on-site. Spatialization and de-spatialization enabled the diagnosis and treatment of the infectors to relieve the unbalance of medical staff, cutting the infectious route to contain the viral spread, and logistic supply to support the prevention and control. Our study offers theoretical contributions to digital pandemic prevention and control, and the literature on 5G also offers practical implications.
doi:10.3390/ijerph19158965 pmid:35897336 pmcid:PMC9332237 fatcat:ok2hypmfkracrhl3ky3lmsjgxu