Share facts about COVID-19
Public health emergencies, such as the outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), are stressful times for people and communities. Fear and anxiety about a disease can lead to social stigma toward people, places, or things. For example, stigma and discrimination can occur when people associate a disease, such as COVID-19, with a population or nationality, even though not everyone in that population or from that region is specifically at risk for the disease. Stigma can also occur after a person has been released from COVID-19 quarantine even though they are not considered a risk for spreading the virus to others.
Some groups of people who may be experiencing stigma because of COVID-19 include:
- Persons of Asian descent
- People who have traveled
- Emergency responders or healthcare professionals
Stigma hurts everyone by creating fear or anger toward other people.
Stigmatized groups may be subjected to:
- Social avoidance or rejection
- Denials of healthcare, education, housing or employment
- Physical violence.
Stigma affects the emotional or mental health of stigmatized groups and the communities they live in. Stopping stigma is important in making communities and community members resilient.