A high temperature, a new and continuous cough and/or a loss of, or change to, your sense of smell or taste — a year on, we're all familiar with the primary symptoms of the novel coronavirus.
Despite this common knowledge, however, researchers have found that those who have caught the respiratory virus were less likely to report their symptoms or to social distance, due to the 'stigma' of having caught the virus that has caused 2.78 million deaths (at the time of writing).
Researchers from the University of Kent and Leeds Beckett University found a correlation between feeling shameful or embarrassed about contracting COVID-19 and ignoring social distancing guidelines or reporting symptoms. "Our research highlights the importance of managing the stigma associated with Covid-19, which may undermine authorities' efforts to control it," said study co-author Dr. Giovanni Travaglino.
"When governments and decision-makers make policies and regulations in relation to Covid-19, they should be aware that stigmatising or blaming people for contracting the infection could potentially backfire."
Looking at countries including America, South Korea and Italy, the study showed that a lack of trust in government was linked to people not wanting to discuss their positive test for coronavirus. Published on the 24th March 2021, the study arrives just before an easing of coronavirus restrictions that no longer prohibit strict social distancing measures in Britain.
The information in this story is accurate as of the publication date. While we are attempting to keep our content as up-to-date as possible, the situation surrounding the coronavirus pandemic continues to develop rapidly, so it’s possible that some information and recommendations may have changed since publishing. For any concerns and latest advice, visit the World Health Organisation. If you’re in the UK, the National Health Service can also provide useful information and support, while US users can contact the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
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