3 Reasons Why Covid-19 Pandemic Is Creating So Much Stigma

Diseases can take on ethnic identity, and those who are shown to be victims of diseases like COVID-19 have lost their social status in the eyes of society. The association between infection with specific racial backgrounds is only worsening when people feel that they need to discriminate against others for fear or suspicion. With the Covid-19 pandemic and its resulting stigma, life has never felt so uncertain to us all. This article will explore three reasons why this pandemic is creating so much stigma in light of its recent outbreak:

Why Is Covid-19 Causing So Much Stigma?

There are three major reasons for the stigma associated with COVID-19: 

  1. Lack of adequate education and awareness: Covid-19 is a new disease, and there are still many unknowns. Some cannot help but stigmatize others as they grapple with understanding what Covid-19 entails and how to deal with it. This is a challenge since there is a lot of scary news about the disease.
  2. People are often afraid of the unknown: It’s not completely clear how to get infected or what the symptoms will be like. With lots of people showing several symptoms associated with Covid-19, who knows what to expect next? So, people stigmatize against perceived Covid-19 patients due to being afraid of the unknown.
  3. It is easy to associate that fear with ‘others .’Covid-19 has caused panic among the public. The fear of this disease is understandable, but unfortunately, many people are also worried about how others will perceive them because of their covid status.

What Is The Impact?

Group stigma can be a significant issue because it could prevent people from engaging in necessary social contact with others. If this happens, the virus is more likely to spread through an already vulnerable group of individuals who are less able to help themselves or protect against disease outbreaks. This will only lead to worse health problems and difficulties controlling an outbreak situation at hand.

 Stigma can: 

  • Cause those with Covid-19 to hide their symptoms to avoid discrimination 
  • Prevent potential Covid-19 patients from seeking health care immediately
  • Discourage them from adhering to Covid-19 safety protocols.

It is time to rid the stigma that surrounds Covid-19 patients. For many, life as they know it had come crashing down when their diagnosis was revealed, and begun the battle to save their lives. Jobs lost before telling anyone; people around you suddenly feel afraid or even disgusted by your presence because they don’t want to get infected.

Collective effort is needed from each individual and society. We need to support each other and help Covid-19 patients receive prompt medical attention. Also, there is a need for adequate awareness to discourage people from stigmatizing members of society with the infection.


Kim Hen - Women Leaders Association


American Organization of Nursing Leadership

Advocacy and Service

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