TODAY -

Corona stigma dogging even the doctors and nurses

SK Singh *

 Testing in progress in Churachandpur in June 2020
Testing in progress in Churachandpur in June 2020 :: Pix - TSE



According to Oxford Dictionary, Stigma is “illegitimacy shame, disgrace, slur, taint...”. Some people stigmatize others for causing, allegedly, according to them, disgrace or something causing irreparable damage to character or for assassinating ones reputation.

In the context of health related situation like the one now being faced by these people, the ‘primary concern’ is arise from fear or apprehension of being infected. The fear about contacting a disease that too, of the dreadfulness of CORONA, is something very legitimate.

One cannot just ignore the inner feeling of picking up the virus, lest it would be spread around, because of someone’s presence in the proximity of ones habitat is something which cannot be brushed aside.

But, a big but, does this apprehension imamates from sheer ignorance or something over-jealous or something contemptuous? Human traits are complex and the reality is that we face this stigma now more than any time before.

Rapturous applause across the country greeted the Doctors and Nurses for their selfless service to the nation, in particular to the patients of this dreaded pandemic. We recall how people of Mao, the gateway to Manipur were so overshadowed with joy, a sense of triumph, when the Doctors and medical support staff of JNIMS succeeded in curing an ailing girl from this dreaded virus in the beginning days of the pandemic.

The Mao people presented these doctors with whatever vegetables they could lay hands on in their villages as a token of appreciation of the medical team.

Of late, however, the scale has turned side only to humble, even abuse, these so-called, ‘front line workers’, in the ugliest turn of events. After this applause, they face a new avatar of social stigma; one can name it, ‘corona stigma’, in their very neighborhood.

Live instances induce appreciating this new form of ‘prejudice, hatred...’. In Kolkata, a 30 year old woman who is part of National Institute of Cholera and Enteric diseases (NICRD) team which tests samples of corona virus, was told by her landlord in South Kolkata to leave the place. Through the intervention of her Institute, the land lord let her continue.

Only a week back, in a reputed private hospital in Kolkata, a 55 year old man died of COVID-19. Consequent upon this tragedy, 15 Nurses of this hospital were too not so lucky. Their land lord asked them to vacate their flat. Reason, they may spread the virus in the landlord’s family. Imagine the shock, a rude blow!

More shocking news is lying in wait. When the staff of the victim carried the dead body strictly following health guidelines to the Nimtolla crematorium for the last rites, the locals not only raised objections but physically hackled the medical staff. The Kolkata police and the Municipal Corporation had to be roped in.

Only recently in Kokrajahar of Assam, the locals vehemently denied cremation of a CORONA victim, that too on his own locality. The SP, his personal staff took the responsibility of the cremation, let alone any of the villagers coming forward.

This reminds me of the death of Dr Sailo, owner of a private hospital of repute, Bethany Hospital in Shillong even before lockdown measures were in state. Dr Sailo contacted the disease while he was outside his state, his hospital also didn’t treat any corona patient those days. He was denied burial in the crematorium in his local.

The Government of Meghalaya had to intervene, took to a far off place, deployed JCBs and the burial took place there. What an undignified way of passing away, where his own villagers denied place for the last rites. Do we human being deserve this treatment?

The issues are increasingly becoming complex. With rise of number of confirmed cases, new problems have surfaced about ensuring social acceptance of diagnosed Corona positive patients. A newly married woman in Odisha’s Nabarangpur district badly treated for her Corona-like symptoms.

In yet another case, a man committed suicide in Ankola in Maharashtra, after diagnosed with the infection. The man could not bear the burden of social stigma heaped on him by not only his neighbors, perhaps even from his family members. Similar cases of social sanctions are reportedly coming from other states too. The gravity could be larger as perhaps many such cases could not get media access for various reasons.

Worse still, are cases of antagonizing certain communities’ amass, even certain geographical areas, largely governed by ‘racial discrimination’ or ‘social prejudice’, due to the COVID-19 outbreak. The GOI talks about causing fear, anxiety which could culminate into increased hostility, chaos or unnecessary social disruptions.

The issues are much more complex, more sensitive and perhaps more contagious. Recall how the NER people especially the women folk are treated, stigmatized for the simple reason that the girls, the men from this NER resemble more of Chinese than of mainland India.

And therefore they are carriers of this virus, this COVID-19. Their very presence around the cities, the towns across the country would cause spread of the pandemic and therefore these communities should be banned from staying around, across the mainland.

How impossible is this conjecture? The GOI’s advisory on the issue is rather mild, soft and avoids direct discussion and even condemnation of the several incidents of racial discrimination happening around the major cities.

Our daughters and sons who are striving for a living, a right they inherit being a citizen of the country, who help in increasing the GDP of the country, are denied basic elementary right and more so the dignity of being a citizen, a native of the country. The matter is intricate and calls for more proactive intervention at the central level.

The GOM too should follow up with the MHA in a comprehensive manner where all the records of the several incidents are collected, collated and analyzed.

Solution is not sighted readily, but an awareness of the degree of discrimination, more heinously, the racial abuse heaped on the NER should be brought to the notice of the Centre more focused.


* SK Singh wrote this article for e-pao.net
The writer can be contacted at kunjabiharis(AT)rediffmail(DOT)com
This article was webcasted on June 24, 2020.



* Comments posted by users in this discussion thread and other parts of this site are opinions of the individuals posting them (whose user ID is displayed alongside) and not the views of e-pao.net. We strongly recommend that users exercise responsibility, sensitivity and caution over language while writing your opinions which will be seen and read by other users. Please read a complete Guideline on using comments on this website.




LATEST IN E-PAO.NET
  • Yaoshang Halankar @BijoyGovinda #2: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 10 July : Govt of Manipur
  • Webninar: Re-imagine Ethnopharmacology
  • In-Situ & Ex-Situ Transmissions of COVID-19
  • COVID-19 : Impact in Manipur :: News Timeline
  • Gyanendro Ningombam- Hockey President
  • Morning Prayer in COVID 19 Lockdown : Poem
  • PDA Nagaland : Meeting Resolutions
  • Wanted : Cooking Gas, Not Laughing Gas
  • The NPP conundrum
  • Save Nambul River
  • COVID-19 Status 09 July : Govt of Manipur
  • Stigma & COVID: Challenge in path to recovery
  • The mystery bird :: Poem
  • A dozen of Ministers is not enough
  • A.I in Modern Era
  • Consider cooperative as career choice
  • Time to strengthen party at grassroot level
  • Manipur & the Lushai Expedition, 1871-72 #2
  • COVID-19 Status 08 July : Govt of Manipur
  • The Flat Keys :: Poem
  • List of plenary talks @ RIST, MU
  • Combating COVID-19 by empowering youth
  • Distribution of Face Mask to Children Homes
  • Essay Writing Competition : My Idea of Justice
  • All eyes now on Thangmeiband, Jiribam
  • Barak waterfall @ Tamenglong #2 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 07 July : Govt of Manipur
  • NE natives dubbed as second class citizen
  • The changing trend of Media in Manipur
  • When I lost my hope :: Poem
  • Lockdown & its impacts on society
  • Understanding spirit of a coalition
  • Changing nature of Meiteilon- Pabung/Papa
  • COVID-19 Status 06 July : Govt of Manipur
  • Atha Kongyamba, Kimneichin: eMing
  • To my goddess of love :: Poem
  • COVID-19 & 14-day quarantine in Manipur
  • Humanitarian Award to Kuki Kanglai Lawmpi
  • NPF Reply to press statement by NDPP
  • NPCC Reply to press statement by NDPP
  • Sericulture as career choice
  • 157 Films to screen at KASHISH 2020 Virtual
  • Crucial days between collection & result
  • COVID 19 pandemic and Nambul River
  • Kanglen Aarti katpa #2 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 05 July : Govt of Manipur
  • Land Commission for improving relations #2
  • Honourable Governor R.N. Ravi effects!
  • Observation on Governor Letter to CM: NPF
  • Reconstitution of Jurisdiction of Zones
  • Complete lockdown in Jiribam amid Unlock 2.0
  • Eikhoigi Puwarini Nambul Turel #2 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 04 July : Govt of Manipur
  • Implication of Draft EIA Notification 2020
  • Plain packaging will aid in ending tobacco
  • The virus and I :: Poem
  • Impact of COVID-19 on students
  • Delimitation & development: Role of Census
  • War on invisible enemy
  • Manipur & the Lushai Expedition, 1871-72 #1
  • COVID-19 Status 03 July : Govt of Manipur
  • Online Painting/ Sketching Competition
  • Covid-19: Impact in Manipur :: Photos/News..
  • Extension of Disturbed Area Act in Nagaland
  • The Politics of South China Sea Disputes : Book
  • Xi Jinping - Know the man, his upbringing..
  • Save Nambul River mission
  • If 'Transparency' is an alien concept?
  • Fashion Show @ Sangai Fest #2 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 02 July : Govt of Manipur
  • Eikhoigi Puwarini Nambul Turel #1 : Gallery
  • German agency to support NE entrepreneurs
  • Naawa Seidum: 'Best Narrative Film' at MIFF
  • The twilight of nature :: Poem
  • Career scope in Chemistry
  • Condemns non-inclusion of bodo language
  • Compulsion behind 5 days ultimatum
  • Unfolding the menace of Health Department
  • View from Shirui Hills in Ukhrul #2 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 01 July : Govt of Manipur
  • Power dynamics: Leikai Clubs & Meira Paibi
  • People's charter of demands to PM & CMs
  • A discourse with my soul :: Poem
  • Can antiviral fabrics stop the spread of COVID
  • Design behind 'abnormal' growth ?
  • Apologetic misnomer
  • Kanglen Aarti katpa #1 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 30 June : Govt of Manipur
  • Land Commission for improving relations #1
  • National Statistics Day & Statistical system
  • Distribution of Face Mask to Old Age Homes
  • A walk on prime meridian
  • Manipur leads a valiant fight against COVID
  • 48 hours later and not yet a word
  • Fate of print media in aftermath of COVID-19
  • Great June Uprising @Kekrupat #3 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 29 June : Govt of Manipur
  • July Calendar for Year 2020 : Tools
  • Cyberbullying using social media as weapons
  • Distribution of Face Mask to CRPF Personnel
  • Sports, children & transferability to classroom
  • The rain sings outside the window :: Poem
  • Online learning enrolments during lockdown
  • Morphing from negative to positive
  • COVID-19 and its impact to community
  • Gandhari (Dance Drama) #4 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 28 June : Govt of Manipur
  • Takhelchangbam Kunjabihari : Wari Liba
  • Antrimwanbut Khwan : Inpui emagazine
  • Public services essential to COVID response
  • Rajas & Maharajas in Parliament
  • Naga artist Ket Meth releases music video
  • Extending lockdown till July 15
  • Neire, Mei Taare- words of the new generation
  • COVID-19 Status 27 June : Govt of Manipur
  • E-Conference : New Frontiers in Science
  • COVID mirror
  • Property Sales & Client Support @ R-Square
  • SKY Hospital - 12th Foundation Day
  • Benjamin Tao - Convenor, Manipur, TICCI
  • Online Social Work Alumni Meet at RGU
  • Naga Peace Process :: News Timeline
  • Has state BJP succumbed to NPP's pressure?
  • Individual responsibility to battle Corona
  • COVID-19 Status 26 June : Govt of Manipur
  • The Lushai Expedition, 1871-72
  • Intl Day in Support of Victims of Torture
  • Remember :: Poem
  • Yoga as career choice
  • Head count on contentious census
  • In the game of politics
  • I Rise :: Film Scenes : eRang
  • Kits to frontliners @ ISBT : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 25 June : Govt of Manipur
  • International Day against Drug Abuse [Jun 26]
  • Corruption: A National Security Issue
  • Book : Rights & Entitlements at Chandel
  • Power tussle amid pandemic
  • Still no checking on corruption
  • Sangai Fest [Dec 1 2019] #3 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 24 June : Govt of Manipur
  • Essentials must include reproductive health
  • The Killing Fields 2013-20 : News Timeline
  • To peruse a father's heart :: Poem
  • The importance of the way we think
  • Politics of South China Sea disputes : Book
  • Art of running a coalition Govt
  • Great June Uprising @Kekrupat #2 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 23 June : Govt of Manipur
  • Sports and environment in Manipur
  • Corona stigma dogging even doctors & nurses
  • Mapping the Change Makers in North East
  • TNL knew better meaning of Quarantine
  • The Kukis, Justice and the UN
  • Scripting a high octane drama
  • QC at Saikul in Kangpokpi : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 22 June : Govt of Manipur
  • Impacts of Mapithel dam on forest & climate
  • Kang Chingba (Rath Yatra) Festival :: Book
  • Messengers of hope on World Music Day
  • Sound of environment :: Poem
  • Online Conclave for Women Entrepreneurs
  • Admission for Class XI should not be closed
  • Approaching the four figure mark
  • Demoralizing anti-corruption crusade
  • Lameithanbi - a myth with geological linkage
  • COVID-19 Status 21 June : Govt of Manipur
  • Highways of Life - best film at DocFest B'desh
  • The Unwelcome Delimitation : Part - II
  • We and today :: Poem
  • Yoga - A need of the hour
  • Cupid in COVID times
  • Voices for & against delimitation
  • Amur Falcon Fest @Tamenglong #2 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 20 June : Govt of Manipur
  • Gerrymandering in delimitation of AC
  • A humble tribute to fathers!
  • Jobs at LMP Technology, Canchipur
  • The gateway to heaven :: Poem
  • Nongpok Sanjenbam village #2 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 19 June : Govt of Manipur
  • Axone & Lingering Question of Racism in India
  • Training : Prevention of Spread of COVID-19
  • Patents or people: Conundrum of healthcare
  • Rahul Gandhi birthday observed at Dimapur
  • Programme on Disaster Risk Reduction
  • Curfew Violators- 19 June : Police Dept
  • Interesting election to lone RS seat
  • Arithmetic doesn't work in politics
  • Great June Uprising @Kekrupat #1 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 18 June : Govt of Manipur
  • Training program on cultivation of mushroom
  • NHRC registered Case to investigate Oil Spill
  • Experience :: Poem
  • Floriculture as career choice
  • Admission for Class XI at Govt Hr Sec School
  • Unfolding political developments
  • The fate of titular king in hard political game
  • Quarantine Center @ Mantripukri : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 17 June : Govt of Manipur
  • What Now for Returning Migrant Workers
  • Activation of State Food Commission
  • At a crossroad :: Poem
  • Women Entrepreneurs' program in Northeast
  • Curfew Violators- 17 June : Police Dept
  • 28 days quarantine period : TNL example
  • Arambam Samarendra Anniv #2 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 16 June : Govt of Manipur
  • Inevitable long wait alongside complacency
  • Compassion amidst the COVID gloom
  • Domestic Workers future beyond COVID-19
  • Poverty stricken student- 11th rank at HSLC
  • Consultative Meeting for Opening of Schools
  • On CM Rio press conference of June 15
  • Freebies on offer from schools
  • June 18 again: but is Manipur's territory safe
  • Class X (HSLC) Exam Toppers : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 15 June : Govt of Manipur
  • On George Floyd, breathless blacks & cops
  • Merit Scholarship - Class X & XII : Download
  • Condolence message for Th Oliver Monsang
  • COVID-19: Resilience & way forward
  • Understanding and accepting adversities
  • Nagaland Cabinet decision to regularize MOs
  • Spotlight on quarantine centres
  • Leirum and Luirim connotation
  • Class X Exam 2020 : Merit List
  • Class X Exam 2020 : Result Sheet
  • Class X Exam 2020 : Subject Toppers
  • Class X Exam 2020 : Statistics Abstract
  • COVID-19 Status 14 June : Govt of Manipur
  • Podcast on Manipur by Carnegie Endowment
  • Proposed park in Chivu needs a rethink
  • Home :: Poem
  • Social Media during Lockdown
  • Worrying double digit spikes
  • Adieu to Pi, Themneihat ..
  • Cultural @Sangai Fest 2019 #2 : Gallery
  • Livelihood implication on Unjas
  • Arambam Samarendra Anniv #1 : Gallery
  • Relief Services in 5 dists #2 : Gallery
  • 2nd Barak Festival @ Senapati : Gallery
  • Quarantine @ UNACCO School: Gallery
  • Motsillaba Mingsel :: eRang Photos
  • Laibi Oinam : Lady Auto Driver ...
  • Train @Jiri [May 28] #2 : Gallery
  • Measures @ Imphal Airport - 25 May : Gallery
  • M.K Binodini Devi's Sense of Beauty
  • Phisakol #3 :: eRang
  • Eyek Tamba :: Learn Manipuri script
  • Featured Front Page Photo 2020 #2: Gallery
  • Items distributed to Tarao -Apr 23 #2: Gallery
  • SPONSORED ADS