People who stigmatise those who have been infected or recovered from COVID-19 do not only demean the affected person but are also demeaning themselves. This is according to the Anglican Archbishop of Southern African Thabo Makgoba who says stigmatisation is dehumanising.
This comes as a woman from Khayelitsha who contracted COVID-19 and recovered was rejected by her fiancé when she returned home from hospital.
“Stigma dehumanises, stigma regards those that are created in the image of God to feel demeaned. But each time you demean another person, you doubly demean yourself. So what the Anglican church’s call on those who stigmatise God’s people with COVID-19 and those who have recovered – is we are all humans we are made in the image of God. We have as the Anglican and other faith groups dealt with the stigma of TB, the stigma of AIDS and HIV and we managed to overcome and here we are still loving and beautiful South Africans. So please-please-please, let us not demean ourselves by demeaning the other.”
Meanwhile, some residents in Port Elizabeth, who have fully recovered from COVID-19, say they are being unfairly targeted for having been infected with the virus. Recovered patients allege their lives are made difficult by the ignorance of some people.
Recovered patients like Vuyelwa Manana claim people around them are now afraid of them.
“Life has now become very painful. I have shown my managers proof that I have fully recovered from this virus, but it is sad that my colleagues have become very scared of me. Sometimes when I walk through the corridor, past someone, they will immediately put on their mask, even if they were not wearing it before, or try and walk in another direction. I don’t understand why they treat me like that,” says Manana.