Thiruvananthapuram: Where support is expected, many COVID patients face hatred after social observation to check pandemic takes an ugly turn.
In one instance days ago, a man committed suicide after mob rounded him up for fleeing a COVID centre.
Health experts link the increasing incidents of assault on houses of quarantined to a form of social hatred.
In the early stage, society openly welcomed patients; however, following exodus of expatriates leading to spike in number of patients, people began to treat patients as ‘others’.
Unless checked in the beginning itself, the tendency could cause far worse a situation than the one viruses could.
One of the guidelines against covid is maintaining physical distance; but the state government in its stead used the term social distancing.
That was a lapse, say social scientists.
Talking to Madhyamam, Prof J. Devika of Centre for Development Studies stressed physical distance should have been used.
Social distancing evokes the latent casteism in the society, she said.
Sangh Parivar campaign against Tabliq Jamaat shifted focus from COVID 19 to patients even in Kerala.
The chief Minister’s statement asking neighours to check on the quarantined only increased fear.
Other factors that shifted focus include statement by Central minister from Kerala regarding Diaspora, the issue of expatriates stuck at Valayar check post, and Karnataka government's closure of border with Kerala.