It’s been two months since India got its first Coronavirus infected patient and since then there’s been a hullabaloo about what’s right, what’s not, what needs to be done, who might infect us and where did this virus actually come from. With too much going around and everyone trying to be safe has led to new stereotypes and has brought out the worst of all of us. It seems like the virus is not just attacking our lungs but also our minds and the following instances prove the same.

1. Recently a man spat on a woman from Manipur calling her Corona.

As the number of Coronavirus infected has started to increase in our country so have the instances of racism. Recently, a middle aged man spat on a northeastern student in Delhi calling her ‘Corona’. The virus that is believed to come from China has made people from the Northeast easy targets. A huge crowd in Rajendra Prasad Colony was gathered outside the house of three Northeastern women threatening them and asking them to leave. The crowd yelled ‘Go Corona Go’ and threatened to cut their male friends in small pieces. Citizens from the Northeast working in different parts of India are often subjected to racist slurs like ‘Chinese’, ‘C***ki’, ‘Momo’ and are stereotyped as eaters of snakes and bats, the animals blamed for the emergence of the deadly virus.

2. Doctors become homeless.

Amid Coronavirus, the doctors are not just fighting the deadly virus but are also fighting the stigma. Since the last two days, the country is reporting more and more cases of doctors, nurses, and other health care professionals, being shunned by the people around them for fear of being infected. Many doctors have been asked by their landlords to vacate their rented homes as they fear that doctors staying at their houses might infect their houses as well. One of the doctors was also called dirty and asked to vacate the house without any notice.  

Not just that, the doctors are also being physically assaulted for simply doing their jobs.  

3. Telangana Doctor gets beaten up at the police checkpost.

On March 25th, a resident PG doctor from Mamata Medical College, was allegedly assaulted at the police check post for stepping out amid the ongoing lockdown for doing her duty. She was slapped by a male officer and asked to kneel down at the police station for hitting the officer in her defence. Not just that, she was also slut shamed for being out so late and dragged to the police van. That’s not the only case, Six phlebotomists across the cities like Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Visakhapatnam have been beaten up despite providing all the proof of them being doctors on duty to fight the virus that has put everyone in the lockdown.

4. A man in Maharashtra was beaten up for sneezing in public.

Last week, CCTV footage was making rounds on social media. The video showed a heated argument between two bikers and one of them eventually getting beaten up. The argument started when a man on one of the bikes sneezed accidently. Men on another bike approached him and yelled for not using a handkerchief and spreading Coronavirus. The man who sneezed was eventually beaten up by the other two men.

5. We didn’t allow a 68-year old woman to be cremated due to coronavirus.

When the family members of the 68-year old woman who died of Coronavirus took her body to the Nigambodh cremation ground where they were returned. When they spoke to the Nigambodh Ghat head, he even asked them to take the body to some other place for cremation. Later, when the news was broadcasted, the authorities of the same ground cremated the body in a CNG facility under strict vigilance.

6. Air India crew members are being harassed.

In the past few weeks, the Air India crew were supposed to carry the Indians living in the virus affected countries back, but their jobs too have cost them their houses. The crew members are being menatlly harassed by the housing members and their landlords to leave the houses. According to the Air India crew members the matters became complicated after the health authorities stamped their houses as ‘Quarantined’ with placards on their flats.

7. Family members of many flight attendants are also being harassed by their peers.

All of us are aware of the viral video of the IndiGo crew member who shared her mother’s encounter with her neighbours. She talked about how people in her locality have started spreading rumours about her being infected with Covid-19. Due to this, her mother cannot go out or even buy the basic necessities as she’s also believed to spread coronavirus. That’s not the only case. Another crew member’s daughter was harassed at her workplace. Her daughter was asked to submit her mother’s travel history and time and again she’s also asked to share her future flight schedules. A lot of their kids aren’t also allowed to play with the other kids of the society saying that because their parents work with airlines, they might spread the disease.  

8. Survivors are too scared to reveal their identities.

This is one virus that can be spread to anyone, today it might be someone who lives in your neighbouring locality tomorrow it might be one of your relatives. So the least we can do is be sensitive towards people who have been quarantined for 14 days away from all their loved ones to fight the virus but all we do is distant ourselves and spread rumours. That’s the reason that not many people are coming out even after they’ve recovered and often run away from being quarantined. Not just that, the fear of facing stigma, people have also committed suicides.