Addressing The Phantom Pandemic – The COVID-19 Stigma

It’s undeniable that the COVID-19 pandemic has caused destruction all around the world, in more ways than one. Its global reach has altered life as we know it, and everyone needs to make an effort to reduce its further spread. People have directed their attention to survival, ensuring that they remain safe and sound amidst the pandemic. 

Unfortunately, the coronavirus has brought additional problems—most of which manifest in the social landscape. It’s a phantom pandemic that shouldn’t exist but is currently driving people into behaving in less than desirable ways, thereby making the circumstances even more difficult.

This phantom pandemic is called discrimination. Human fear is the main driving force of the perpetuation, up against COVID-19 patients only trying to recover. Discrimination is due to anxiety, mainly when infection control encompasses tasks such as quarantine and isolation. The stigma is sensationalized through the media and internet, making it difficult to control.

Dealing with the pandemic will naturally cause fear, but it should never be towards one another. Discrimination still holds roots deeper than COVID-19, and with so much to worry about still, it’s essential to address this phantom.

Who is experiencing the stigma?

These individuals currently face emotional isolation and rejection, which can go as far as to be denied all their essential needs. In the worst cases, these individuals often experience physical violence, shedding light on the actual COVID long-term effects. Here are some of them:

  • People who have currently traveled
  • The Asian population
  • Healthcare providers
  • Emergency responders
  • People in self-isolation
  • People who have tested positive for the coronavirus
  • People who are recovering and COVID survivors

What can individuals do to break the cycle of discrimination?

1 – Media platform use

It’s no secret that media platforms play an influential role in information dissemination, and so we must use these platforms with extreme caution. People utilizing it must exhaust all means to increase awareness and never fear, especially when it comes to negative behaviors regarding those people mostly discriminated against. 

Supporting stigmatized groups is also crucial, making descriptions of the infected vitally important to be the positive light. Accurate data must be carefully collected, and any positive and hopeful stories of those in recovery should be highlighted. In doing so, people will be compelled to focus on what matters—COVID-19 is beatable and will soon be eradicated through numerous vaccines and medications now in the works.

2 – Individual responsibility

Keeping up with the latest developments surrounding the COVID-19 is paramount, but individuals are expected to minimize their exposure to the news and social media. Prolonged exposure can only increase the fear, ultimately exaggerating the fear and negativity. It’s also important to know that social media can be a place of misinformation, further causing stress. As a result, this leads to a heightened state of stigma and discrimination.

Individual responsibility also encompasses the treatment of healthcare workers, as members of the community mostly avoid them. It’s important to provide them with ample support, however, especially since working 24/7 without rest can only lead to negative feelings, further exacerbated by how the world treats them. 

Shedding Light To COVID Recovery 

The COVID-19 pandemic is a battle of various layers and does not simply end on the health and medical aspects. It bleeds through the fabrics of society, manifesting in a phantom pandemic of stigmas and discrimination. As a result, COVID survivors, sufferers, and caretakers are subjected to unimaginable difficulties, and it’s only right that people direct the light on addressing these circumstances.

If you’re experiencing chronic COVID complications, including discrimination, understand that emotional and mental support is always available for you. Therapy24x7 offers psychotherapy and life-coaching services both in-office and online, ensuring that you’re given ample support as you approach recovery. Reach out to us today to learn more. 

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