COVID-19: Pushing Back Against Stigma

COVID-19: Pushing Back Against Stigma

Overview

Stigma is a negative feeling based on a belief about a group of people. Stigma often occurs when there's a disease outbreak. It's a common human reaction to look for someone to blame when we feel afraid.

In the case of COVID-19, some people have blamed it on people of Asian descent or people who have traveled. Some have even blamed health care workers. This virus has spread around the world because of our global economy. No one person, group, or country is to blame.

It's important to know the facts so that we don't hurt people by stigmatizing them. Stigma can lead to social rejection, trouble getting health care, job loss, and even physical violence.

Ways to push back against stigma

If the spread of COVID-19 has shown us anything, it's how connected our world is. We are all in this together. We can find ways to support each other and push back against stigma.

  • Speak up.

    Don't be silent if you hear people repeating negative stereotypes. Challenge social media posts that blame people or groups.

  • Provide good information.

    People who are blaming others may be getting their ideas from unreliable sources and social media. Point them to trustworthy sources like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO).

  • Be careful what you share online.

    Be sure that images and posts don't fuel negative thinking about countries or groups of people.

  • Be kind.

    Reach out through social media to people who have been stigmatized. Let them know they are not alone. Tell doctors, nurses, and emergency responders that you appreciate how hard they are working to keep us all safe.

Related Information

Credits

Current as of: March 26, 2021

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:
Heather Quinn MD - Family Medicine
Lesley Ryan MD - Family Medicine

Disclaimer: The information contained in this website, and its associated websites, is provided as a benefit to the local community, and the Internet community in general; it does not constitute medical advice. We try to provide quality information, but we make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to this website and its associated sites. As medical advice must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each patient and healthcare is constantly changing, nothing provided herein should be used as a substitute for the advice of a competent physician. Furthermore, in providing this service, Adventist HealthCare does not condone or support all of the content covered in this site. As an Adventist health care organization, Adventist HealthCare acts in accordance with the ethical and religious directives for Adventist health care services.

Find a Doctor

Find an Adventist HealthCare affiliated doctor by calling our FREE physician referral service at 800-642-0101 or by searching our online physician directory.

View Doctors

Set Your Location

Setting your location helps us to show you nearby providers and locations based on your healthcare needs.