One of Ghana’s finest sports journalist at JoyNews, socialite and outspoken netizen, Gary Al-Smith has been making lots of posts to share his experience with stuff at the isolation centre and how Coronavirus is perceived after testing positive for the virus.
Contributing on what he feels can be measures to subdue stigma against COVID-19 patients, he unveiled a hearty write up on his Facebook page.
Gary Al-Smith wrote:.
“From personal interactions, these are factors that inure to increase risk of COVID-19 patient stigmatization.
The issues are not straightforward:
- People here will tell you their folks at home/work are not even willing to be educated about the virus. They are afraid. Period. They’re wired to feel that catching the virus is the end. Going home now is a burden, not a relief.
Patients who told family members/loved ones about their COVID-19 status now feel it was a mistake. Because those people are now telling others…and so on. Instead of getting empathy, they’ve more people lining up to shun them once they leave.
Workplaces are not helping at all. Personal accounts suggest offices are more concerned with prevention of the disease than post-recovery/post-discharge care.
Almost seems like once work colleagues know your status, that’s it. You’re finished.
- There’s a lack of understanding of the basic question: “what does it mean for COVID-19 patients to be recovered?” Is it that the person can’t transmit at all? Is it that they can’t be reinfected?
These uncertainties just make people afraid to engage with recovered patients.
- For some reason (I can’t explain), people think COVID-19 patients are discharged without any tests done to show they’re negative.
And that also feeds into the narrative that patients aren’t fully healed before they leave here.[Will keep updating with more factors as and when my thoughts are clear on them. If you’ve any ideas on factors increasing stigma, feel free to add them]”
What’s your take on this?