From Amitabh Bachchan, Abhishek Bachchan to Parth Samthaan: Celebs open up about testing Covid positive, remove stigma around the virus
Experts feel celebrities Anupam Kher, Sonu Sood, Amitabh Bachchan, Abhishek Bachchan, Parth Samthaan, Mahima Makwana, Puja Banerjee, Farah Khan Ali talking about them, their family members or staffs being infected does address Covid-related stigmas and make people aware.Updated: Jul 19, 2020 16:08 IST
Life in times of Covid has become stressful and the stigmas attached to it are only making the situation worse. People are scared of talking about developing symptoms or getting tested because there’s a fear of being judged. Recently, actor Mahima Makwana spoke about how people reacted on the sets of her TV show when she felt an acute chest pain. While this was just a muscular pain, Makwana was both “surprised and hurt” to see people murmuring that she might have been infected.
However, with celebrities such as Anupam Kher, Amitabh Bachchan, Abhishek Bachchan, Boney Kapoor, Farah Khan Ali, Sara Ali Khan, Parth Samthaan, Mohena Kumari, among others, openly talking about them or their family or staff being tested positive for Covid-19, is setting an example and giving hope to many.
Addressing these stigmas, actor Sonu Sood, who has been stepping out every day for his humanitarian work, feels that it’s because people are panicked. “They don’t know whether they’d get the right treatment if they or their family member get the virus. This (fear) would be there till the vaccine comes out. But yes, if we openly start talking about it, this will encourage people to hide anything. We need to be responsible, follow precautions. Stigmatising an infection isn’t the right approach,” he asserts.
Jewellery designer Farah Khan Ali, one of the first few to share on social media about her staff member testing positive, feels one should be transparent in such situations.
“Informing others about it and protecting yourself is more important. When my staff tested positive, instead of panicking, we got ourselves checked and took care of him. And that helped. He came out of it and is working with us,” she adds.
Makwana urges everyone to not let the virus take away the sensitivity. “I was taken aback when even on social media people started asking if I’ve got Covid. Such reactions affect one’s mental state. Many of us must step out to earn a living, let’s not make things more difficult for them,” she says.
Lauding Samthaan’s tweet informing everyone about his diagnosis and requesting those who came in contact to get tested, actor Pooja Banerjee, his co-star adds, “I worked in close proximity with him during the shoot. Thanks to him, we all got our tests done on time. I think we should maintain physical distancing and not social or emotional distancing. Fear is valid, it makes us responsible, but shunning people because they’re infected, is wrong.”
Dr Sunit Mediratta, consultant neurosurgeon with Apollo Hospital, shares that in 90% cases, people developing mild symptoms and the rest 10% require medical attention. “Problem arises when people themselves create certain wrong stigmas like RWA’s aren’t allowing helps at home or not letting proper garbage clearance from the houses of Covid positive patients,” he says.
Dr Pulkit Sharma, clinical psychologist, says social influencers talking about what they’re facing reassures and empowers common man. “People think if they can go through it and come out unscathed, we too can. Many have told me about the loneliness and isolation they face or the fear of facing it. So when these public figures get back to normal trajectory of life, that give many strength. These stigmas are anyway deep rooted and will take time to go,” he explains.
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