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The Coronavirus Disease and Social Stigma: Towards Improved Pastoral Care and Counseling to Victims

Journal: International Journal of Science and Research (IJSR) (Vol.10, No. 3)

Publication Date:

Authors : ;

Page : 1412-1417

Keywords : COVID-19; Pastoral care; counselling;

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When individuals share specific diseases and some characteristics, social stigma tends to arise. Should the vice occur, adversities include loss of status, receiving treatment separately, discrimination, stereotyping, and labeling. Previously, pastoral care and counseling has been used to alleviate stigmatization arising from pandemics, with the 2014-2015 Ebola outbreaks in West Africa being a recent example. However, in the wake of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), there is an increase in the incidence and prevalence of social stigma, yet a disjoint exists concerning the work of pastoral care and counseling personnel and COVID-19 stigmatization. Therefore, this paper explores the relationship between the occurrence of COVID-19 and social stigma. Other themes investigated include the effects of coronavirus disease-related social stigma on direct and indirect victims, biblical insights about suffrage in society, and some of the strategies whose implementation might counter the perceived effects of social stigma accruing from COVID-19. From the findings, the paper has established that disease-related social stigma has led to the social isolation of groups, undermined social cohesion, caused members to hide illness in fear of discrimination, and a failure to adopt healthy behaviors. Thus, to respond to these problems, three strategies ought to be implemented by professionals in pastoral care and counseling. The recommended strategies include focusing on the trend of facing fears, spreading messages of seeking the Lord (because a disease such as COVID-19 is an occasion), and the sensitization of masses that a disaster such as COVID-19 and its associated stigmatization test people’s faith and also reveal their hope.

Last modified: 2021-06-26 18:42:03