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OPINION | Discrimination infodemic

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FROM the moment we heard of the Coronavirus or Covid-19 everyone shared their personal thoughts and opinions.

Information spread like wildfire with panic and fear behind each story. The infodemic or the information epidemic surrounding the virus has caused more damage than the actual Coronavirus pandemic itself.

From panic buying, hoarding supplies, and sharing every information received on social media, the fear and discrimination towards people of Asian descent, individuals who traveled and first responders grew. Although it may seem justifiable from our own points of view, we do not realize the real damage it causes.

As defined by Merriam Webster’s Dictionary, stigma is a set of negative and often unfair beliefs that a society or group of people have about something. For example, assuming a certain group of people caused the Coronavirus to spread. Stigma is dangerous because it can cause people to hide their symptoms and/or illness and hinder them from seeking appropriate medical care. Stigma is caused when we form our own opinions instead of fact checking and holding our own selves accountable.

The best way to prevent stigma is to know and share the correct facts. Visit reliable sources such as the Center for Disease Control and the World Health Organization and fact check before sharing information with the public. Being aware and knowing what to share is a step towards recovery from the discrimination infodemic. Instead of sharing panic and fear, let us help each other by spreading accurate information.

For more information about the protections and advocacy for people who are being discriminated against due to assumed disability, contact the Northern Marianas Protection & Advocacy Systems Inc. at 235-7273/4 or visit us on the web at www.nmpasi.org, www.facebook.com/NMPASI., and follow us on Instagram @nmpasi670.

 

 

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