• Roots, Rights and Risk: Canada, Childhood and the COVID-19 Global Pandemic

      Ciotti, Sarah; Moore, Shannon A.; Connolly, Maureen; Newmeyer, Trent (2021)
      The COVID-19 global pandemic highlights pre-existing inequities as well as the challenge of ensuring the protection of children’s human rights in countries like Canada that have ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. SARS-CoV-2, referred to as the 2019 novel Coronavirus disease or COVID-19, presents a significant threat to public health. Although children are considered to be low risk of contracting, spreading, and serious complications of the disease, are considerably impacted by COVID-19 government-sanctioned distancing measures. COVID-19 is a persistent public health threat, thus, the long-term consequences are largely unknown. This qualitative research study, a content analysis of online Canadian media reports of COVID-19 and children, engaged transdisciplinary social justice methodology, social constructions of childhood at the intersection of race, socio-economic status, gender, and disability. The findings suggest COVID-19 reinforces the impact of social exclusion and economic disparity on equity-seeking young people and families in Canada.
    • Super-Spreaders or Victims of Circumstance? Childhood in Canadian Media Reporting of the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Critical Content Analysis

      Ciotti, Sarah; Moore, Shannon A.; Connolly, Maureen; Newmeyer, Trent (MDPI, 2022)
      This qualitative research study, a critical content analysis, explores Canadian media reporting of childhood in Canada during the COVID-19 global pandemic. Popular media plays an important role in representing and perpetuating the dominant social discourse in highly literate societies. In Canadian media, the effects of the pandemic on children and adolescents' health and wellbeing are overshadowed by discussions of the potential risk they pose to adults. The results of this empirical research highlight how young people in Canada have been uniquely impacted by the COVID-19 global pandemic. Two dominant narratives emerged from the data: children were presented "as a risk" to vulnerable persons and older adults and "at risk" of adverse health outcomes from contracting COVID-19 and from pandemic lockdown restrictions. This reflects how childhood was constructed in Canadian society during the pandemic, particularly how children's experiences are described in relation to adults. Throughout the pandemic, media reports emphasized the role of young people's compliance with public health measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and save the lives of older persons.