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Discrimination & Stigma

Stigma

No one group, ethnicity or population in the US is more likely to get or spread coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) than others.

While some people may be worried or have concerns about COVID-19, it is important to not let fear lead to social stigma toward friends, neighbors or members of the community. Treat all people with compassion and speak up if you hear others making statements that cause stigma against people in your community.

People who have confirmed COVID-19 and are in isolation, and people who may have been exposed to COVID-19 and are self-monitoring, are doing the right thing and helping to protect their communities. They should never be harassed and bullied, including through social media. We should offer compassion, support via phone and texts, and assistance as appropriate, but never hostility or judgment.

It will be much harder to contain the spread of COVID-19 if people are fearful about how they will be treated if they come forward for testing and health care assistance. People who are in isolation and quarantine are providing a public health service to benefit everyone in North Carolina.

Stigma Resources

Stigma Related to COVID-19. Coronavirus threat escalates fears and bigotry, combating bias & stigma related to COVID-19, and COVID-19 heightens the need to end health disparities

 

Discrimination

A guide to preventing and addressing social stigma associated with COVID-19

Social stigma in the context of health is the negative association between a person or group of people who share certain characteristics and a specific disease. In an outbreak, this may mean people are labelled, stereotyped, discriminated against, treated separately, and/or experience loss of status because of a perceived link with a disease. Such treatment can negatively affect those with the disease, as well as their caregivers, family, friends and communities. People who don’t have the disease but share other characteristics with this group may also suffer from stigma. The current COVID-19 outbreak has provoked social stigma and discriminatory behaviors against people of certain ethnic backgrounds as well as anyone perceived to have been in contact with the virus.

Stigma Resources

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