This one took me completely by surprise. People who have not had the SARS-CoV-2 virus are rejecting, ostracizing, stigmatizing, and shunning those who have recovered from it.
Read any of the press accounts listed below and you will appreciate the suddenness, strength, and apparently deeply unconscious origins of this widespread reaction in what seem to be otherwise normal people.
The first article, from Psychology Today, sets the stage. It recounts similar experiences of survivors of the MERS epidemic earlier in the century (MERS is another coronavirus, a cousin of SARS-CoV-2).
I will be writing more about this. For now, have a look at some of these stories. The one in the New York Times from two days ago brought wider attention to the issue.
- Mar. 11 (Psychology Today): Surviving a Coronavirus, Only to Be Socially Shunned
- Apr. 04 (Santa Fe New Mexican): Social stigma compounds coronavirus problems
- Apr. 06 (Harvard Business Review): Don’t Let Fear of Covid-19 Turn into Stigma
- Apr. 08 (Insider): Coronavirus-free couple from the Diamond Princess say they still receive threats and face stigma
- Apr. 18 (LA Times): The scarlet C: Coronavirus survivors face the stigma and discrimination
- May 12 (YouTube): People Shunned Michael Yo After He Recovered from Coronavirus
- May 20 (NY Times): They Beat the Virus. Now They Feel Like Outcasts.
- May 21 (NBC New York): Even After COVID-19 Recovery, Survivors Say Others Still Treat Them ‘Like a Leper’