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The COVID-19 pandemic could be the “perfect storm” for reinforcing stereotypes about certain vulnerable sections. Analyze.

Topic: Attitude: content, structure, function; its influence and relation with thought and behavior; moral and political attitudes; social influence and persuasion.

6. The COVID-19 pandemic could be the “perfect storm” for reinforcing stereotypes about certain vulnerable sections. Analyze. (250 words)

Reference: The Hindu ,

Why this question:

History has shown that epidemics and pandemics tend to provoke xenophobia and stigma. This was the case with diseases such as Ebola and MERS and it is now the case with COVID-19. An increasing number of news reports document instances of stereotyping, harassment and bullying directed at people perceived to be of certain vulnerable sections following the spread of the new coronavirus.

Structure of the answer:


Define what is stereotyping. The give a brief about how the pandemic has further intensified the stereotyping in society. Talk about how Groups labelled COVID-19 superspreaders represent some of the most vulnerable categories in Indian society.


discuss how the various kinds of stereotyping has begun since the pandemic began. Substantiate it with examples like Superspreaders especially the vulnerable sections of society.

E.g.: a number of groups are labelled superspreaders. Prominent examples of such groups include those who attended the Tablighi Jamaat religious congregation in Delhi, workers providing essential services (vegetable/fruit vendors, pharmacists, garbage collectors, grocery and milk sellers, bus conductors), and migrant workers returning to their hometowns. In the category of essential workers, the vegetable vendors in Ahmedabad city and the Koyambedu vegetable market in Chennai have received significant media attention.

Explain the ramifications of such stereotyping on such people and how it defeats the entire fight against the pandemic.

E.g. : Research documents a range of negative consequences (direct and indirect) associated with negative stereotyping, such as discrimination and hostility, negative attitudes, and a lingering effect of lack of self-control and aggression. Such outcomes are already visible in India. Incidents of people, particularly Muslims, being harassed for their suspected affiliation with Tablighi Jamaat have been reported. The Orissa High Court, in its order early May (which was stayed by the Supreme Court), required migrants, returning from other parts of the country, test negative before they were allowed to enter the State, without specifying who would pay for the cost of tests and the fate of those who would test positive.

Provide measures that are needed to overcome these challenges.


Give a balanced conclusion as to how this needs to be overcome to fight the pandemic in a holistic and effective manner.