Social prejudices resurface when there is a pandemic. A recent video clip that went viral on social media showed several government officials taking positions at a narrow entry point and telling people to go away.
The officials did this to save a Covid-19 infected doctor and her family as the people in the area threw bricks and stones at their house. They were also verbally abused and threatened to leave the area for contracting the virus.
Even, the neighbours did not allow an ambulance to enter the area to take a member of the affected family to the hospital.
Later, Narayanganj Sadar Upazila Nirbahi Officer Nahida Barik went to the area and saved the family from further shaming and abuse.
Nahida Barik told The Business Standard that Narayanganj Civil Surgeon Office's Medical Officer Dr Shilpy Akter's family was not the only victim of prejudice and ignorance, there were more such incidents.
"We try to solve such problems whenever we get informed."
"What happened with Dr Shilpy's family was an inhuman and uncivilised act. She has relentlessly provided medical services to people since the first Covid-19 case was confirmed in the city."
Social distancing does not allow social shaming. But when a frontline doctor's family faces such abuse, it does not need any educated guess to think what kind of social pressure the other Covid-19 patients are living in.
As per the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS), the total infections from the virus stood at 7,667 till Thursday. Of them, around 70 percent are taking the medication at home.
It has been learnt that most of the patients who are fighting the virus from their home are being treated differently and facing social pressure.
Ahad Hossain Tutul, a senior broadcast journalist of Deepto Television, has recently recovered from Covid-19 after taking treatment at home. He also encountered the same attitude from his neighbours after he tested Covid-19 positive on April 11.
Tutul told The Business Standard that even his domestic help was not allowed to deliver some lemons required for his medication.
"It was upsetting and painful when my domestic help was obstructed from delivering those lemons. My neighbours threatened her that they would not let her enter the area if she disobeyed them."
"Negative attitudes of the neighbours make the victims more depressed and hopeless in a fight against the virus. However, some neighbours were supportive during my life-and-death battle against the novel coronavirus."
Psychologists and sociologists say good behaviour and attitudes help Covid-19 victims stay strong during their sufferings.
Echoing the opinion, Additional Director General of the DGHS Dr Nasima Sultana said they received such complaints from every corner of the country.
"We have published some leaflets regarding the social stigma and discrimination towards coronavirus patients. Also, we are requesting people to stop such inhuman behaviour."
"Before being harsh to the victims, you should think that you could be the victim too."