I had COVID-19 and survived it. But, I was not prepared to fight the battle of stigmas and social discrimination attached to it. Passersby used to peep into my house just to see if they can spot a COVID patient as if I looked different. We were even refused home deliveries. This needs to stop now. Sign my petition asking the government to run public service advertisements on television channels to break stereotypes and remove stigma around COVID-19. Together, let’s say #NoToCovidShaming
I had COVID-19, and survived it.
There is enough information on what the symptoms are and what protocols we need to follow. But nothing prepares us for the second battle we have to face – discrimination and the stigmas attached to this virus.
People cross your house and look up to see if they can see a COVID patient. They think we look different. That’s not it, there are many that refuse to deliver food and essentials to houses that have COVID patients.
They also ask patients to produce fitness certificates, even after they battled the virus and tested negative, because they are so scared. People don’t understand that we are also responsible citizens who will not put other people’s lives in danger.
The stigma surrounding COVID-19 is leading to social discrimination. People point you out, try to bully you because they feel like you got the infection in their vicinity. I am not the only one, and I read so many cases of discrimination being reported in the news as well. This needs to stop now, and you can help.
There is an urgent need to counter such prejudices, as the COVID-19 stigma is a major roadblock in India’s path to recovery. We urgently need a transparent public communication strategy.
A public awareness campaign around breaking stereotypes is the need of the hour to end this social discrimination. Mainstream media and social media are a great tool for this. And this is why I am asking the Information and Broadcasting Ministry to run public service advertisements on television channels on coronavirus awareness, and removing the stigma associated with it.
After all, scientists may eventually find a vaccine to fight the virus but there’s no vaccine to fight the discrimination. That is up to us.
It is our responsibility as a community to generate well-informed and empathetic responses during this crisis. So that we can together remove any fear and stigma attached to this pandemic, and create an empowered community.
Together, let’s say #NoToCovidShaming