Stigmatization in the wake of COVID-19: Considering a movement from 'I' to 'We'

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Epidemiological crisis during recrudescence of pandemic like COVID-19 may stir fear and anxiety leading to prejudices against people and communities, social isolation and stigma. Such behavioral change may wind up into increased hostility, chaos and unnecessary social disruptions. A qualitative exploratory approach was utilized to conduct an extensive review of secondary literature. The case-studies were gathered from academic literature like articles, opinions and perspective pieces published in journals and in grey literature like publications in humanitarian agencies and media reports. Grey literature was included in the scope as the COVID-19 situation is still evolving. I discuss some of the mechanisms of stigmatization and how social connectedness and empathetic understandings can be a way out of negative stereotyping and discrimination met out to the sufferer of the communicable diseases as COVID-19. Empathetic understanding paves a way to approach a problem from the perspective of ‘we’ not limiting one only to ‘I’. The moment when we make an approach from ‘I’ to ‘We’ actually then we embark on a journey of illness to wellness. Keywords: COVID-19, pandemic, stigma, discrimination, mental health, empathy, India, Face-to-face communication, social distancing, suicide.
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Archival date: 2020-11-04
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