Although many are approaching a new normal, the United States occupies a place of privilege and our layered experience as intersectional beings (across race, SES, gender, sexual orientation, ability/disability) also impacts our ongoing interactions with COVID. Please consider the following suggestions for all of us to consider:
- Be aware of engaging in any racist or xenophobic stereotyping, even if it is unintentional. For instance, do not assume that because someone is of Asian descent that they have the coronavirus.
- Hold in mind the lasting and ongoing impact of COVID on our communities. If you are navigating the impact of long COVID or a visible/invisible disability in the midst of the pandemic/endemic, please keep Disability and Accessibility Services in mind as a resource for support.
- Note when you might be using accusatory language about an entire group of people:
- Stigmatizing those who are sick can affect not only their mental health but also their physical health. People in scapegoated groups can be more reluctant to seek out medical care when they are symptomatic.
- Be aware of using stigmatizing language, such as referring to people who are not sick as “clean,” which implies that people who are sick are “dirty.”
- Honor the choice of continued mask use and hold in mind the layered health experiences of everyone in our community.
When you’re mindful of the effects of your actions and views on the coronavirus and other public health concerns, you can help stop the spread of harmful stereotypes and other issues of xenophobia, racism, and ableism.