New study shows COVID-19 shame is very real

Posted at 5:00 AM, Jan 25, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-26 07:14:04-05

A lot of people are feeling tormented by guilt and shame after testing positive for COVID-19.

Researchers from the National Johns Hopkins University Pandemic Pulse project found one in four Americans associate shame with COVID-19.

Dr. Emily Bashah is a psychologist in Scottsdale who tells ABC15 Morning, a positive COVID-19 test result is not a sign of recklessness.

"People are worried about perceptions and others feel like they are being blamed or scrutinized because they tested positive. I think what we need to do as a community is work to destigmatize that it's a really bad thing."

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the omicron variant likely spreads easier and faster than the original SARS-CoV-2 virus. They also say anyone who tests positive can spread the virus regardless of vaccination status.

With changing guidelines from the CDC, Dr. Bashah also shares ways to handle social situations responsibly.

"Let’s make wise and healthy decisions and find balance. Really weigh the pros and cons of what you choose to participate in and continue to communicate letting each other know if we're not feeling well."

And for those who don't have the virus she says, "Don't assume someone who gets sick has been irresponsible."