Healthcare Workers and Emergency Responders Face Social Stigma with COVID-19

As the COVID-19 public health emergency continues, the issue of social stigma is becoming more prevalent among health care workers and emergency first responders.

The CDC even says that emergency responders or healthcare professionals are part of some of the groups that might experience social stigma, shame and in some cases, physical violence.

Jim Kendall, LCSW, CEAP

Jim Kendall, LCSW, CEAP, Manager of the Vanderbilt University Medical Center Work/Life Connections Center, reminds everyone to be kind in this time of stress and that no one is invincible.

When only part of a population is perceived as being affected, in this case healthcare care workers or emergency responders, others may incorrectly believe they are not at risk. By assuming they are safe, majority population groups may not take important public health precautions, unintentionally compromising their own health and well-being.

“It makes sense that physically we want to separate ourselves from those who have COVID-19 but unconsciously we also want to psychologically do the same,” Kendall said. “We treat patients, we don’t expect to be one. We all are susceptible to the same fate.”

Kendall said the issue of social stigma associated with public health emergencies isn’t new.

“In 1990, Philip Strong, a medical sociologist, outlined a psycho- social model (Epidemic Psychology: A Model) that noted that waves of fear, panic, stigma, moralizing and calls to action that characterizes behaviors around pandemics,” he explained.

“During the 1980s, AIDS was an illness that scared the public and healthcare profession.  Before the disease was fully understood, those who contracted AIDS were viewed as outcasts and stigmatized in the way that those who had Hansen’s Disease (leprosy).”

Kendall said those on the frontline of this emergency should be thanked and appreciated and not stigmatized.

“We need to thank our healthcare workers and emergency responders,” he said. “They are performing a valuable service to everyone by helping make sure this disease does not spread further.”

Kendall offers these tips:

  • Remember, diseases can make anyone sick. Fear and anxiety about COVID-19 can cause people to avoid or reject others. Don’t let fear and anxiety take control of your life.
  • Do the things that the CDC is reminding you to do to stay healthy, including washing your hands and not touching your face.
  • Someone who has completed quarantine or has been released from isolation does not pose a risk of infection to other people.
  • Stigma affects the emotional or mental health of those stigmatized. Check in on those that you care about that have been stigmatized.
  • Maintain privacy and confidentiality of those seeking healthcare and those who may be part of any contact investigation


WhistlePig + Alfa Romeo F1

SHOREHAM, VT (September 13, 2023) — WhistlePig Whiskey, the leaders in independent craft whiskey, and Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake are waving the checkered flag on a legend-worthy release that’s taking whiskey to G-Force levels. The Limited Edition PiggyBack Legends Series: Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake Barrel is a high Rye Whiskey selected by the Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake drivers, with barrels trialed in their wind tunnel to ensure a thrilling taste in every sip.

The third iteration in WhistlePig’s Single Barrel PiggyBack Legends Series, the Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake Barrel is bottled at 96.77 proof, a nod to Valtteri Bottas’ racing number, 77, and the precision of racing. Inspired by Zhou Guanyu, the first Chinese F1 driver, this Rye Whiskey is finished with lychee and oolong tea. Herbal and floral notes of the oolong tea complement the herbaceous notes of WhistlePig’s signature PiggyBack 100% Rye, rounded out with a juicy tropical fruit finish and a touch of spice.

Keep readingShow less
by Spectrum Medical Care Center

Nurse Practitioner Ari Kravitz

When I started medical transition at 20 years old, it was very difficult to get the care I needed for hormone replacement therapy because there are very few providers trained in starting hormones for trans people, even though it’s very similar to the hormones that we prescribe to women in menopause or cisgender men with low testosterone.

I hope more providers get trained in LGBTQ+ healthcare, so they can support patients along their individual gender journey, and provide the info needed to make informed decisions about their body. I’ve personally seen my trans patients find hope and experience a better quality of life through hormone replacement therapy.

Keep readingShow less

Descanso Resort swimming pool and lounge area

Descanso Resort, Palm Springs' premier destination for gay men, just received Tripadvisor's highest honor, a Travelers' Choice "Best of the Best" award for 2023. Based on guests' reviews and ratings, fewer than 1% of Tripadvisor's 8 million listings around the world receive the coveted "Best of the Best" designation. Descanso ranked 12th in the top 25 small inns and hotels category in the United States. Quite an accomplishment!

Open less than two years, Descanso Resort offers gay men a relaxing and luxurious boutique hotel experience just minutes away from Palm Springs' buzziest restaurants, nightclubs, and shopping. Descanso has quickly established itself as a top destination for sophisticated gay travelers, earning hundreds of 5-star guest reviews and consistently ranking in Trapadvisor's top positions alongside brother properties Santiago Resort and Twin Palms Resort.

Keep readingShow less