Shedding the stigma of catching Covid can help defeat pandemic

21 May 2021

Feelings of shame and stigmatisation at the idea of contracting Covid-19 are linked to lower compliance of social distancing and the likelihood of reporting infection to authorities and potential contacts.

That was the finding of UK researchers looking at pandemic behaviour in Italy, South Korea and the US last April.

However, the study also found that those who trust their government’s response to the Covid pandemic and feel a mutual solidarity are more likely to report catching the virus to authorities and acquaintances, although the association between trust and compliance was not statistically significant in the US, found the research in Frontiers in Psychology.

Co-author Giovanni Travaglino said: ‘Our research highlights the importance of managing the stigma associated with Covid-19, which may undermine authorities’ efforts to control it.’

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