Friday, April 10, 2020

The Problem of Stigma

Stigma hurts. It wounds as much as any virus.

The sad truth about the Coronavirus disease is the hurtful reactions of being socially discriminated, dreaded, and even hated by people around.

Reports show that confirmed Covid-19 patients (including those just under investigation or working among patients) are rejected by neighbors, blocked to go back home, and even physically harmed.

As GMA7 TV news reporter Howie Severino, who contracted Covid-19 himself, put it, “This disease is one of the most stigmatized and loneliest in human history.”
Real-life incidents in the news evidence this. 

A hospital nurse working in a Covid ward being thrown out of apartment he’s renting ... neighbors barricading a road to disallow a confirmed Covid patient and his family from entering and moving out of their house ... Individuals under Covid investigation getting punched, kicked, even shot on way to work ... and more.

Dignity is a personal responsibility amid stigma and disease. People can disrespect, abuse, or detract from that. 

But in critical situations such as a serious pandemic, understanding and self-possession is maintained by being secure in your being despite every possible external attack.
Until this public health crisis is over, the stigma of the Coronavirus serves as a constant visible reminder to hold on to ourselves and behave in a “new normal” in certain situations.


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