No one wants to be stigmatized or discriminated against no matter what the situation.
But what has already begun to happen somewhat during this COVID-19 pandemic is exactly that – social stigmatization.
The current COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated social stigmatization and discrimination in our society among the same nationality as well as with nationalities that society has come to believe has had contact with the virus.
The unfortunate result is that the “fear” that you will be stigmatized by society can prevent one from getting tested, or it can create social divisions, all of which makes controlling the spread harder.
The solution to this problem is not any single person’s responsibility. Everyone has an important role to play in being sympathetic and empathizing with those who have been impacted.
Understanding the disease and the manner of communicating about COVID-19 is very important. This will enable people in society to learn how to support efforts to fight the disease in the most appropriate way. It is also important for avoiding fear and the further spread of social stigmatization.
Keep an open mind together, adjust your understanding and live in harmony in society.
Next time, we will have a look at what we should and should not be doing in order to reduce social stigmatization.
With thanks to Dr. Preecha Suwantecho (Emergency Medical Physician, Thonburi Bamrungmuang Hospital)
Sources: WHO, UNICEF, IFRC