Shame Breeds Secrecy

“COVID camouflagers”—those who have hidden their condition entirely— have manifold reasons for their coverups.
 
A Common Thread: shame. After encountering intense judgment from those she did tell, 1 flight attendant began deploying “Mrs. Doubtfire levels of deception” to conceal her condition, writes Saahil Desai in The Atlantic.
 
This isn’t the first disease where shame triggers secrecy. A 2017 UK study found that 40% percent of gay men witheld HIV diagnoses from their families.
 
Underlying this secrecy is a deeply embedded myth: “that health is a sign of virtue, and infection a sign of sin.” Desai writes.
 
Stranger Danger: The belief that contagion comes from “others” has become a dangerously dominant theme in the pandemic, obscuring infection risks from one’s own family and friends, according to STAT.

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