Large-scale emergencies like the coronavirus outbreak are stressful times for individuals and communities.
Fear and anxiety about sickness can lead to a lot of assumptions about people for a lot of different reasons. It can lead to aggressive behavior and discrimination towards a population or nationality, even though they are not at any higher risk of disease.
This stigma hurts everyone in your community by creating fear or anger towards others that can persist much longer than the emergency itself. Stigmatized groups may experience social avoidance, physical violence, and even the denial of healthcare or other essential services. These stigmas can can have a severe and lasting impact on the mental health of stigmatized groups.
Please speak up for these groups who may experience discrimination due to COVID-19:
- People of Asian descent
- People who have traveled
- Emergency responders
- Healthcare professionals
As reports of discrimination rise, Governor Walz made clear that Minnesotans across the state will not tolerate discrimination, racism, or disrespect of our Asian-American neighbors now or at any time. If any Minnesotans becomes a victim of a hate crime because of fear around COVID-19, they should contact law enforcement.
If anyone experiences discrimination in their job, housing, or in public place due to COVID-19, they should contact the Minnesota Department of Human Rights. The Governor’s staff, along with the Department of Public Safety, the Department of Human Rights, and the Attorney General’s Office are working with community leaders to hear concerns and identify strategies to address discrimination.
Everyone can help stop stigma related to COVID-19 by knowing the facts and sharing them with others in your community.