Year 2020: Let’s talk about Social-stigma
We are better together, easy to propagate but difficult when it comes to behaviour change.
We all are against an unknown enemy called the ‘Covid-19’, a disease we know nothing about except the only way to save oneself from it is by staying at home.
This sudden pause in everyone’s life has been a sort of a roller coaster, at times you are at a high point when you can see the horizon, and then while gliding down it’s always an unpleasant reel of emotions.
What these past six months of the pandemic has shown us that we have been living within a wrong notion of what we call ‘normal’, we forgot what it was like to breathe in the clean air or take a moment to be empathetic towards each other.
Now, what does social stigma relate to during this time of Covid-19? Often when certain things are unknown to us, we associate our fears with the unknown and reflect upon it on others. In this case, it might be a Covid-19 patient or a group of people who might have similar symptoms to the disease and are being left alone to take care of themselves due to the stereotyped stigma of spreading the disease without any known factor. The question that we ask is do we have any particular protocol or guidelines to follow during the spread of a communicable disease and a severe pandemic? The answer is a no, but we do have a code of humanity to follow. We talk and dream of a Utopian world but in reality we are much far from our destination until our world adapts a humanitarian ground. The key to empathy right now is through communication and access to the right knowledge, this is the only way we can reduce the social stigma attached to Covid-19 and break the wall of stereotypes. So let’s narrow down the code of humanity a little further:
1) Our words matter the most when we address the topic of Covid-19, sometimes the words we may use have a negative impact or pose as a hostile environment for the people who have been affected by the disease and also create anxiety among those around. So, it is important to be a good listener first and then respect and empower people to get tested or comfort them with your words that help them recover.
2) Secondly, access to the right information about the disease relating to its spread and its recent updates is vital as well informed people can do their part better in the society. Well, now an informed person doesn’t have to be any sort of a book worm or someone with higher degrees but a person following the right direction of knowledge taken from a governing authority.
The year 2020 continues to teach us how to survive in a world where our ‘normal’ can turn into ‘not normal’ in a blink of an eye. And most of all right now we are stronger together even being apart. So, let’s not just exist but exist with a purpose for change.