Sue Frantz

Coronavirus brings us a new stigma

Blog Post created by Sue Frantz on May 21, 2020

Some people who have had COVID-19 and recovered are emerging from their homes to discover that that they’re being stigmatized by their friends and family who have not had COVID-19.


Ask students to read this New York Times article where people who have recovered from COVID-19 relate some of the experiences they have had with being shunned by family or friends. (Because the New York Times only allows a certain number of free articles per month, it’s better to create a link to the article in your library database. Search for the title “For Some Survivors, the Stigma of Illness Far Outlasts Its Symptoms” in the May 21, 2020 issue.)  


In an online discussion forum, pose these questions.

  1. Find a quote from the article that you found particularly interesting or striking, and in 200+ words of reflection, explain why you selected it. Be sure to use quotation marks with your quote.
  2. Have you or has someone you know recovered from COVID-19? If so, have you or they been stigmatized by someone who hasn’t had COVID-19? If so, please describe the experience.
  3. The Mayo Clinic has a list of seven coping strategies those who are experiencing the stigma of mental illness can use. Which of these strategies do you think would be most helpful to someone experiencing the stigma of being a COVID-19 survivor? Explain.

Ask students to respond to at least two posts by answering these questions.

  1. In 100+ words, respond to the quote. Your response should be directly related to the content of the initial post, displaying psychological knowledge, say, from the textbook, personal application, and critical thought.
  2. If an experience was reported, in 50+ words, share your reaction to their experience.
  3. In 50+ words, provide feedback on how useful you think their selected strategy would be and why.