Embrace social distancing, shun ostracism

Updated: Apr 16, 2020, 07:07 IST | The Editorial | Mumbai

To compound problems, even their spouses and little children are bearing the brunt of barbs, humiliation or just the hurtful act of being seen through a prism as dangerous or a virus-spreader

Picture/ANI
Picture/ANI

Social ostracism has unfortunately become a byword, quite like social distancing in the Coronavirus pandemic. The latter is necessary, the former hugely unfortunate but extremely real.

The hurt is compounded when one hears that health workers in medical facilities who may test positive because of the nature of the work, are facing ostracism. Talking with doctors, one has learnt that non-clinical staff, even those not affected, are facing challenges on the home front. Many of these persons who live in chawls, or residential clusters are being shunned when they return home from work.

To compound problems, even their spouses and little children are bearing the brunt of barbs, humiliation or just the hurtful act of being seen through a prism as dangerous or a virus-spreader.

Those on the management boards of clinics and hospitals have called for an urgent halt to this humiliation. The dean of a hospital in the city during a chat said that the morale of non-clinical staff is extremely low. This adds to the stress and strain of working in these extraordinarily tough times.

Because their families are facing so much discrimination, in certain cases, these workers are pressured by their own to stay away from the workplace so that they are not targeted by neighbours. It is a sad and desperate situation which calls for great maturity and humanity of the larger society.

This opinion has earlier stressed the necessity of protective gear for all ancillary workers, that is non-negotiable. This though is not about that but a change in attitude. It is heart-rending that clinical and non-clinical staff have to wear their negative-for-COVID-19 test results like a badge of honour, and an all-clear license.

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