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Home > Article > The COVID-19 Stigma: What You Can Do to Overcome It

The COVID-19 Stigma: What You Can Do to Overcome It

Aditya Gagat Hanggara

11 May 2020

Smartcitizen, the outbreak of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic in Jakarta has caused fear and anxiety which is now being experienced by some people. Make no mistake Smartcitizen, fear is indeed a common thing, it can even help us not to be careless and stay alert. Unfortunately, excessive feelings of fear can actually create social stigma against people or places that are considered to have a connection with the outbreak.

Social stigma is felt not only by sufferers but also medical workers, including those who are currently struggling tirelessly at the forefront. Those who are not necessarily infected but show symptoms similar to COVID-19 also sometimes receive unpleasant treatment. The stigma can range from social rejection to physical violence. If this is left unchecked and not addressed, social stigma can be dangerous and make people:

  • Hiding disease so as not to be discriminated against

  • Constrained when seeking medical assistance

  • Not living a healthy lifestyle

Those who feel they have symptoms but ultimately refuse to go to a medical facility for fear of stigma, of course, can increase the risk of transmission and accelerate the spread of the virus. Therefore it would be nice if we help those who are stigmatized by doing the following things.

Spread the Facts
Social stigma can be exacerbated by disinformation or hoax news about the transmission or handling of the COVID-19 disease. You can prevent this by helping spread facts obtained from reliable information sources, for example by:

Do not associate the virus with a specific ethnicity or location. According to the direction of the World Health Organization, the official name of this disease is not "Wuhan virus" or "Chinese virus" but COVID-19. "CO" is short for Corona or Corona in Indonesian, "VI" which means virus, the letter "D" for disease or disease, and 19 because it first appeared in 2019.

Calling people infected with the corona virus a "patient" and not a "victim" of the spread of COVID-19

Sharing accurate information about the risks of COVID-19 based on scientific research as well as official releases from government health agencies such as the DKI Jakarta Provincial Government's website.

[Capturing Disinformation about Corona Virus via JalaHoaks]

In the midst of the difficulties caused by COVID-19, this epidemic we unconsciously also teaches us to uphold the spirit of mutual cooperation. So instead of getting lost in anxiety, you better collaborate, Smartcitizen. You can start from the environment closest to you. We can take an example from the solidarity of residents of RT 05 / RW 10, Kelurahan Pekayon, Pasar Rebo, East Jakarta. When they found out that a neighbor had difficulty getting food, they took the initiative to open a donation until they finally collected 25 kg of money and rice.

The DKI Jakarta Provincial Government has also created a Corona Response Collaboration program through the Jakarta Development Collaboration Network (JDCN). In addition to being a place to receive donations such as food and medical equipment, there you can register as a volunteer to help the government's efforts in breaking the chain of pandemic spread.

[JDCN: Building a City of Collaboration]

Moral Support
Smartcitizen, if you know people or families affected by the COVID-19 outbreak, help them by providing moral support. You can do this by sending positive messages that can be encouraging, especially when they are undergoing independent isolation or in treatment.

Also share the experience of someone who has recovered from the COVID-19 disease. Because in this way we can also remind the public that most sufferers have managed to recover from this outbreak.

[We Are Not Alone When Facing A Pandemic]

Give Appreciation
The Large-Scale Social Restrictions (PSBB) implemented by the DKI Jakarta Provincial Government also include an appeal to work from home. But did you know that there are still 11 sectors that are still operating to support Jakarta? Yes, those who are engaged in health, energy, daily necessities, communication, and basic services, for example, are still working outside so you can keep doing #DiRumahAja activities. Come on, let's help appreciate their hard work by creating positive campaigns so that they avoid social stigma.

[Bang Iki, Vegetable Vendor Who Doesn't Want to Be Conquered by Corona]

Stigma not only hurts a person's feelings, but can also be a threat to public health at large. So, let's unite and together straighten all information related to COVID-19 in order to accelerate the realization of the corona-free city of Jakarta and return to normal.


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Aditya Gagat Hanggara

Aditya Gagat adalah lulusan Teknik Informatika dari Binus University yang saat ini menjadi salah satu Content Writer di Jakarta Smart City. Gemar mengamati isu transportasi, olahraga, teknologi dan sains, ia memulai karier Jurnalistik bersama media internasional pada 2016-2019. Saat ini ia terfokus pada topik kesehatan, khususnya mengenai penanggulangan pandemi Covid-19 di wilayah DKI Jakarta.

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