Study: "COVID shame" stopping many from reporting infections

Researchers from the University of Kent and Leeds Beckett University say feelings of shame and stigmatization connected to contracting COVID-19 have a link to lower rates of social distancing compliance. Feeling this way also reduces the odds that patients will properly report their condition to the authorities or personal contacts.

The study focused on three nations specifically: the United States, Italy, and South Korea. Trust in government, or lack thereof, appears to be a key factor in deciding to keep a COVID diagnosis secret.

On the other hand, study authors also report that people who generally trust their government react differently. They feel a greater sense of “mutual solidarity” and are more likely to report their COVID-19 infection — to both authorities and acquaintances.