Don’t feel ashamed for getting covid

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“There’s been this large narrative about the importance of controlling your actions to prevent yourself from getting sick, and from transmitting the illness to other people,” says Jessica Stern, a clinical psychologist at NYU Langone Health. “Because the narrative is so closely connected to our behaviors, I think there’s this implication, or this assumption, that if you get sick, you must have done something wrong to bring it onto yourself.” That’s not true, she stresses, “but unfortunately it’s inherent in the way we’ve been thinking about and talking about covid.” That can lead to shame, which Stern defines as “the combination of embarrassment or guilt and identity — one of the most visceral emotions.”

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