Social stigma in the context is the negative body language or gesture between a person or group of people who share certain characteristics and a specific disease with COVID 19 this may mean people are labeled, stereotyped, discriminated against, treated separately, and/or experience loss of status because of a perceived link with the virus.
These negative characteristics could prove fertile in the workplace and should be addressed Immediately as such treatment can negatively affect those with the disease, as well as their family, friends, communities, and work environment.
The stigma associated with COVID 19 is based on the fact that the virus is new and people are naturally afraid of the unknown. It is understandable that there is confusion, anxiety, and fear among the public. Unfortunately, these factors are also fueling harmful stereotypes.
• Drive people to hide the illness to avoid discrimination
• Prevent people from seeking health care immediately
• Discourage them from adopting healthy behaviours
HOW TO ADDRESS SOCIAL STIGMA
Communicate about COVID-19 is critical in supporting people to take effective action to help combat the disease and to avoid fuelling fear and stigma. ( I used the word communicating because there should be comprehension for it to be a proper communication). An environment needs to be created in which the disease and its impact can be discussed and addressed openly, honestly, and effectively.
Here are some tips on how to address and avoid compounding social stigma:
1. Words matter: dos and don’ts when talking about the new coronavirus (COVID-19)
2. Do your part: simple ideas to drive stigma away
3. Communication tips and messages.