Fighting the Covid-19 stigma

Published Mar 31, 2020


JOHANNESBURG - When news of the coronavirus Covid-19 broke to the world many factually inaccurate reports were made about the condition. Speculation on where the virus originated, how it was spread and which ethnicities it affected was rife.

With Wuhan in China being touted as the epicentre of the outbreak, negative sentiment against people of Asian descent began to spread. At some point U.S President Donald Trump referred to the Covid-19 in a tweet as the “Chinese virus”.

Stigma can be very harmful in our fight against Covid-19. South Africa is well versed on the subject of stigma. HIV/AIDS decimated the South African population in the 90’s and early 2000’s largely due to ignorance and the fear of discrimination. Myths around the treatment and cure of the disease costed millions their lives

This is why we should not stigmatise Covid-19 and those infected by it. One way we can go about this is to educate ourselves about the virus. Creating stigma around the virus may cause people to not seek medical advice which is harmful to not only the patient but to those around them.

According to the World Health Organization