Study reveals danger of 'Covid-19 embarrassment'
Coronavirus 'shame' has stopped people reporting symptoms or even properly social distancing, a new report has warned.
Researchers from the University of Kent and Leeds Beckett University said there was a link between feeling shameful and ignoring social distancing guidelines.
It found those who felt stigmatised by having the virus were less likely to report their condition through the appropriate channels - or even tell their family about it.
Focusing on the U.S., Italy and South Korea, the study found the absence of trust in Government was another key factor in whether people told others about their positive test.
Where people trusted their government’s COVID response they were more likely to follow guidelines, the study found. It discovered greater compliance in South Korea and Italy, while Americans were more likely to ignore lockdown measures.
The study's authors say making people feel shame around contracting the virus may actually have made the situation worse, Daily Mail reported.
"Our research highlights the importance of managing the stigma associated with Covid-19, which may undermine authorities' efforts to control it," study co-author Dr. Giovanni Travaglino said.
"When governments and decision-makers make policies and regulations in relation to Covid-19, they should be aware that stigmatizing or blaming people for contracting the infection could potentially backfire," he added.