Stigma refers to unfair behavior against a specific group of people. COVID-19 stigma is a result of people not knowing the truth about the spread of the virus. When people don’t know the truth, they start believing in rumors and myths.
COVID-19 is not limited to a particular group of people or place. Anyone can contract and spread the disease. Stigma has led to unfair treatment and other ill behaviors towards those who are suspected or have contracted the disease.
Stigma occurs when people relate a particular disease with a group of people, a community, or a nation. People who have recovered from the illness or released from quarantine or home isolation also face discrimination.
Below are the five best ways to overcome COVID-19 stigma after isolation.
1. Virtual Support Groups
Support groups are necessary for those coming from quarantine or have recovered from COVID-19. Most of these people face rejection from their families and the community.
Discrimination causes anxiety and depression. Through Apps like zoom, you can connect with people who are ready to listen. Such groups give people a voice and connect you with others who go through the same thing.
COVID-19 affects your physical and emotional state. Support groups help you deal with anxiety and reduce loneliness. You also get to learn new and better ways of coping with the stress and the COVID-19 stigma.
2. Never Self-Stigmatize
Don’t focus on the public’s opinions and judgment against COVID-19 patients. Don’t listen to rumors which undermine those who have recovered or coming from isolation. You might end up personalizing those public attitudes, and that will negatively affect you.
After isolation, you may realize that there is a change in the way you relate to people. Your family, friends, and workmates may behave differently around you. Some will even stay away from you because of the rumors and myths they’ve heard.
Whether you are coming out after self-isolation or have recovered from COVID-19, you should not be ashamed of yourself. Try reaching out to those whom you trust for support, understanding, and the compassion you need.
3. Educate Others
Speak out and educate others. Mostly use social media platforms to tell people the facts about COVID-19 to understand the truth about the disease.
The following are the facts that you can use to educate others to end the COVID-19 stigma.
- People coming from isolation or completed quarantine poses no risk of infecting others. They shouldn’t be unfair to them.
- There are low chances of most people getting seriously ill, but some with underlying medical conditions must take severe precautions because they can develop complications.
- Anyone can be infected by the disease regardless of their ethnic group or race. Anxiety and fear brought about by COVID-19 make people reject or avoid others in fear of getting infected.
- People should keep themselves safe and others healthy by observing the necessary Precautions.
- Educate others about the signs and symptoms of COVID-19 and when to seek immediate medical attention.
4. Emotional Regulation
COVID-19 stigma cause stress and anxiety. With time, prolonged stress becomes depression. The best way to reduce anxiety and depression is by focusing on the things that matter. Focus on the kind of stuff that makes you feel good about yourself.
Start doing physical exercise. Exercises make your brain produce “feel good” chemicals called endorphins. These chemicals can ease anxiety and depression.
Getting enough sleep makes you feel refreshed and full of energy. You’ll start your day with a positive attitude and a clear mind. You’ll be able to handle the stresses that may come your way as you start your day.
Other ways to improve your mood include,
- Music: Listening to music can instantly improve your mood. Music is a well-known stress reliever, and it helps with depression.
- Good Deeds: Take part in charity programs like giving food to the street families or children’s homes. Good deeds can instantly make you feel good and happy about yourself.
- Meditation: Meditation is an excellent stress manager. Through meditation, you can significantly boost your happiness levels. Regular meditation leads to greater happiness levels. You can try different meditation techniques, which will make you feel happy at any minute of the day.
Pushing others away negatively affects their mental, physical, and emotional health. It’s a natural reaction for people to stay away from other people or places associated with contagious infections.
Individuals pushed away by their community experience public embarrassment, isolation, and depression. With the application of the above-discussed points, you can significantly reduce the effects of COVID-19 stigma. You’ll be able to cope well with the situation.
Stopping stigma in all communities ensures that community members are healthier and safe. Stigma is not inevitable. With the right information, people can understand and learn to live with others.