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Malaysian Covid-19 Patients Traumatized After Being Targets Of Public Ridicule

Malaysian Covid-19 Patients Traumatized After Being Targets Of Public Ridicule

Akmal Hakim

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If contracting a life-threatening disease wasn’t torture enough, some Covid-19 patients have become the unfortunate targets of public abuse and ridicule.

Sharing traumatic experiences of having his identity unwillingly exposed and being bombarded by hurtful messages online, a local, Covid-19 patient voices his frustrations on being stigmatized for his ailment.

grayscale photo of woman in panty
Individuals were being singled out for returning home from overseas and being involved with the tabligh cluster, among others.
(Credit: Tai’s Captures/Unsplash)

Speaking to reporters at Bernama, a man describes the emotional and mental stress he faced after being branded as a Covid-19 “super spreader”.

What’s even scarier was the fact that news of his infection had gone out to the public before he’d even had the chance to mention it to his family, and before he’d even arrived at the hospital for treatment.

Dealing with the hate messages was a traumatic experience for me and at one point, I thought of running away from the hospital but I managed to calm down… I felt as if I was fighting two battles, one with the virus and the other with the stigma (of being infected with Covid-19).

Confessed a man only identified as Ching, a recovered Covid-19 patient – via Bernama

Though having made a full recovery, the man says that the stigma of being an infected patient still follows him around and greatly affects his life.

Making things worse

Experts are saying that the stigma of being a Covid-19 patient is not only harmful to the wellbeing of the patient themselves but may also make the pandemic at large a whole lot worse.

Local psychologist and member of the American Psychological Association, Dr. Wong Kok Fye, explained that trauma from being the subject of mockery and contempt can result in a person potentially hurting themselves or others.

Bahau Public Market traders to undergo screening after one tests ...
A man being swabbed for testing.
(Credit: Yusof Mat Isa/Malay Mail)

Even worse, fear of becoming a Covid-19 patient may also force people to shy away from seeking medical attention when presented with the illness, which can result in the further spread of the contagion, and inevitably, more lives being lost.

You may read more on the confessions of a Covid-19 patient, HERE.


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