The COVID-19 outbreak can lead to stressful, confusing times. This can create fear and anxiety among us and lead to discrimination and social stigma. It is imperative that we protect and support those around us and respond appropriately to any acts of racism and intolerance. When even just one person is stigmatized or discriminated against, it affects society as a whole.
It is important not to discriminate or socially stigmatize against:
Persons of a different heritage
COVID-19 is not specific to people of any country or ancestry. The virus does not discriminate against race.
People who have been out of the country
Returning from another country requires fourteen days of self-isolation and monitoring your health for any symptoms of COVID-19.
People who have recovered from COVID-19
If you have contracted COVID-19, you have done nothing wrong and should not be treated differently.
Emergency responders or healthcare professionals
There is fear of contracting COVID-19 by being in contact with front-line workers. Front-line workers are equipped with the proper personal protective equipment (PPE) to prevent the spread and keep themselves and those around them safe.
Stigma due to COVID-19 can lead to:
Fewer people reaching out for medical care including testing
Fewer people following imposed restrictions including self-isolation
This can result in fewer cases of COVID-19 being reported to health care professionals
and more people at risk of being exposed to the virus.