Stigma & Discrimination Prevention

Anyone Can Get It. Anyone Can Spread It. Everyone can help stop COVID-19.Overview

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.

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.

What We Can Do to Prevent Stigma

  • Rely on and share trusted sources of information
  • Speak up if you hear, see, or read stigmatizing or harassing comments or misinformation
  • Show compassion and support for individuals and communities more closely impacted
  • Avoid stigmatizing people who are in quarantine. They are making the right choice for their communities
  • Do not make assumptions about someone's health status based on their ethnicity, race or national origin