People in the U.S. may be worried or anxious about friends and relatives who are living in or visiting areas where COVID-19 is spreading, which is reasonable. However, it is not reasonable or acceptable to allow that fear and anxiety to lead to social stigma towards Chinese people, other Asian Americans, people who were in quarantine, or anyone else.
Stigma is discrimination against an identifiable group of people, a place, or a nation. Stigma about COVID-19 is associated with a lack of knowledge about how the virus spreads, a need to blame someone, fears about disease and death, and gossip that spreads rumors and myths. Stigma hurts everyone by creating more fear or anger towards ordinary people instead of the virus that is causing the problem.