Prevent Stigmatization of COVID-19

Article | 2020-04-30 03:48:43

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Prevent Stigmatization of COVID-19

SPREAD OF Covid-19 is not just a health problem. Because of its massive spread, it has caused other problems in various aspects of community life, such as economic, political, defense, security, social and even cultural issues.

Without us realizing, changes in various aspects have also changed the behavior of people around the world, including in this case the perspective of human beings.

As a new disease, much is not yet known about the COVID19 pandemic. Moreover, humans tend to fear something that is not yet known and more easily connect fear to "different / other groups". This is what causes social stigma and discrimination against certain ethnic groups and also people who are considered to have a relationship with this virus.

Feelings of confusion, anxiety, and fear that we feel can be understood, but that does not mean we may be prejudiced in sufferers, caregivers, families, or those who are not sick but have symptoms similar to COVID-19. If it continues to be maintained in the community, social stigma can make people hide their pain so as not to be discriminated against, prevent them from seeking immediate health assistance, and prevent them from living a healthy lifestyle.

What is stigma?

Social stigma in the context of health is a negative relationship between a person or group of people who share certain characteristics and certain diseases. In an outbreak, this may mean people are labeled, stereotyped, discriminated against, treated separately, and / or experience loss of status because they are considered to have a relationship with an illness.

Such treatment can have a negative impact on those who suffer from the disease, as well as their caregivers, family, friends and community. People who do not have the disease but share other characteristics with this group may also suffer from stigma.

The current COVID-19 outbreak has triggered social stigma and discriminatory behavior towards people from certain ethnic backgrounds as well as anyone who is deemed to have made contact with the virus.

What is the impact?

Stigma can damage social relations and encourage the possibility of social isolation from groups, which may contribute to situations where viruses are more likely to spread. This can lead to more severe health problems and difficulty controlling disease outbreaks.

Stigma can result:

  • Encouraging people to hide diseases to avoid discrimination

  • Prevents people from seeking immediate health care

  • Prevents them from adopting healthy behaviors

As an individual in society, here are the things we can do:

  1. Use the correct name, namely: Covid-19 disease due to the SARS-CoV-2 virus. The name Covid-19 is taken from the word Co (hue) Vi (rus) D (isease) (20) 19, because it appeared in 2019. Not the Wuhan virus, the Chinese virus or the Asian flu.

  2. Not referring to people infected with Covid-19 as victims or sufferers, but as patients.

  3. Avoid labeling certain people, groups, ethnicities or regions as "causes" or "spreaders" of Covid-19.

  4. Provide support for those affected, both patients, patients' families or the surrounding community.

  5. Give awards to health workers who care for Covid-19 patients. They are heroes in the war against this plague.

  6. Do not repeat or share unclear gossip, hoaxes, let alone narratives that are broadcast hatred towards one person, group, ethnicity, or certain area related to Covid-19.

  7. Stigma arises from fear. Fear arises from ignorance. Be the opponent by finding the right information from the right source.

  8. Spread the good news, for example the patient's recovery, practical and appropriate prevention methods, how to protect yourself and your family from transmission, or the story of the struggles of health workers in handling this epidemic.

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