It is essential that we all feel safe and confident getting tested for COVID-19, and that those who test positive still feel supported in their recovery and are not discriminated against.
The FNHA’s Acting Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Shannon McDonald, has urged First Nations people to practise “lateral kindness” to help fight the stigma of COVID-19. Lateral kindness is an approach to address lateral violence based on Indigenous values, which promote social harmony and healthy relationships.
“I want to take a moment to thank and celebrate every person who experienced symptoms and got tested. You are helping to protect all of us!” says Dr. Shannon McDonald. “Remember, getting COVID-19 is not a matter of who didn’t wash their hands long enough, who touched their face too much, or who didn’t physically distance enough. These are necessary measures to take, but we could still do everything right and become infected with COVID-19. There is no ‘fault’ when it comes to this virus.”
Practicing lateral kindness is an essential part of nurturing and maintaining public health. Since any one of us can contract COVID-19, regardless of how careful we are, it’s important to remember how we or our loved ones would want to be treated.
REMEMBER: THE VIRUS IS THE ENEMY, NOT THE PEOPLE WITH COVID-19. ALL PEOPLE SHOULD FEEL SAFE AND SUPPORTED BY THEIR COMMUNITIES, ESPECIALLY WHEN THEY’RE SICK. LET’S BE KIND TO EACH OTHER AND THANKFUL FOR ALL OF THE EFFORTS AND PROTECTIVE MEASURES THAT INDIVIDUALS AND COMMUNITIES ARE TAKING FOR THE SAFETY OF US ALL.
For more information and resources, visit: fnha.ca/coronavirus