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.
It is important to remember that people – including those of Asian descent – who do not live in or have not recently been in an area of the ongoing spread of the virus that causes COVID-19 or has not been in contact with a person who is a confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19 are not at greater risk of spreading COVID-19 than other Americans.

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.