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Coronavirus Stigma More Harmful Than The Disease Itself

With the surge in the spread of coronavirus in the world, a challenge of stigma lies with those affected, their place of residence, doctors, and frontline workers at large. 

Coronavirus Stigma

As the numbers continue to rise in India affecting most of the states and getting worst day by day, controlling it is becoming difficult. As India has topped number 3 in the list of most affected countries in the world, the need is to take this pandemic seriously and follow the norms that are shared by the government.

As lockdown is in the ending phase, almost everything is becoming normal, shops, markets have started opening at a slow pace.
Areas that are affected and the people who are found positive with this virus are made to keep separate from the rest of the people. This is a must keep the spread in control but, we see stigma and discrimination even associated with those who are placed for home quarantine without them testing positive. This shows how prepared we are to face the virus. 

Most of the fake news that is shared on WhatsApp or on social sites, creates anxiety and fear to the common man. Lack of authentic information and knowledge makes people believe whatever they receive on their mobile.

Coronavirus Spread

A person who gets normal cold/ fever or cough is also doubted as he may have encountered coronavirus and people start discriminating against him.

Research from past epidemics also shows that social stigma undermines efforts to test and treat the disease. 
According to an Avert study on HIV and AIDS, data available from 35 countries show that over 50% of people have discriminatory attitudes towards people living with HIV. The same wave to some extent extends to the Covid pandemic also. 

A recent example is that of the people from Mumbai who tested positive was admitted were eloped and couldn’t be traced. This created panic in the city. Another news which came on 1st June from Delhi where a person committed suicide since he found positive of novel Corona.

The fear of social stigma could cause an infected person to hide his/her symptoms, getting hesitant in taking a test, or seeking medical help, or not adhere to interventions like home quarantine. This would only make it difficult to control the spread of the 

Covid 19 is life-threatening and anybody irrespective of age, gender, profession, etc. could succumb to it. 

Education is one way to fight prejudice. Facts from reliable sources like WHO, United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), or Ministry of Health and Family Welfare can remove the unverified news.

We have to make a habit to live with the novel coronavirus. It is together with unity we can fight against the novel corona. Panicking and believing in anything that is received on mobile won't profit anything apart from creating stress and a tense environment.

Social Distancing

While social distancing, hand sanitization, and wearing a mask a must for our safety. We should also be supportive and empathetic to doctors, frontline workers, and those affected without discriminating or labeling them. Accepting the current situation as it is and taking the most precautions and contacting doctors after getting ill and getting the right treatment is the only way to recover and control the spread.

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