Executive Vitality™: No Shame In Getting COVID

Executive Vitality™: No Shame In Getting Covid

People may judge others for getting COVID, and some report feeling ashamed when they are diagnosed. Nothing about this trend is good. People who are embarrassed might be less likely to seek medical attention and less likely to tell others they may have been exposed. And there are other repercussions. Feeling shame or embarrassing/shaming others is nonproductive. Yet it is easy for people to unintentionally shame themselves or others without realizing it. It is important to empathize with yourself and others if (when) they do end up getting it.

Many media outlets are announcing some version of “According to the CDC, about 60% of the US population has had COVID-19,” and it seems like this number keeps rising. So why are people COVID-shaming others? Search “no shame in getting COVID” and you will see, this topic has been widely covered.

As a leader, set a positive tone for yourself and others

We at EXCN believe that leaders are role models for their company’s values. Regardless of which side someone is on — who believes what about COVID— we, as leaders, must do everything within our power to set a positive tone.

As a first step in self-care, make sure you are not shaming yourself. Before you can influence others, you want to address self-inflicted shame. For self-preservation, we recommend doing everything you can to maintain positive self-regard and reduce shame around you. Those suffering from self-inflicted shame are the ones most likely to shame others, so self-awareness is key.

For yourself, anyone you know who has COVID or your workforce—here are 5 things to consider as a leader and as a human being.

  1. People who have been careful about protecting themselves have gotten COVID, and some are about to get it.
  2. All the recommended safeguards aren’t a guarantee against getting COVID. It must not be seen as a personal failing or deemed a sign of irresponsibility.
  3. What the world needs now is empathy and sensitivity. Now is a good time to avoid judgment and blame.  Be especially careful to not spread false information.
  4. Be respectful of others, and helpful if you can. Unless we are doctors or scientists, we are probably not experts. Most of us are better suited for offering comfort and help rather than trying to educate others.
  5. Take care of yourself the best way you can. You may want to wear a mask even if no one else is, for example.

Do you know anyone who could use some words of encouragement, who might appreciate some help with grocery shopping or walking their dog? Do you agree that now is the time to spread good will toward others?

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