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COVID-19 and Social Stigma

 

Written by: Jenna Chou, PMP, MSc.

Date: April 23, 2021

 

The COVID-19 pandemic has sparked a rise in stigma and prejudice against people who have the virus, people from countries where the virus originated or that are considered hot zones, people who have travelled recently, people who have come in contact with someone who has the virus.

There are videos of people getting hit because they are Asian, or they have a slight cough, etc.  These messages we are sending out to the public doesn’t help with the pandemic, it only worsens it.  The COVID-19 virus is a global pandemic, there should be support and kind words instead of having racism rises up in numbers.

Many disadvantaged group, such as in China, may or may not have caused the spread of the virus, but without their knowing, they should not be the ones to blame, or have the virus be called the “Chinese Flu” or “Wuhan Flu”.  I am Chinese myself and it is very hurtful to hear these discriminated words.

Stigma obviously affects the people who are targeted, but it can also have a wider impact. For example (CAMH.ca):

So how do you reduce the stigma and discrimination?  Here are a few tips (CAMH.ca):

The following sites offer more resources on stigma and discrimination:

CDC - Reducing Stigma

We are all in this together, let’s work together to stop the spread of COVID-19!!!