TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwanese Vice President Lai Ching-te (賴清德) took to Facebook Wednesday (May 26) to encourage greater empathy for COVID-19 patients amid the country’s worsening outbreak.
Speaking to those suffering from the disease as well as their families, the vice president expressed sympathy and concern. He said that as the pandemic has heated up, the danger of stigmatizing patients has increased, per CNA.
Lai mentioned that Taiwan’s homeless population is experiencing a particularly dark time, as the places where they eat and drink — the streets — now require masks to be worn at all times. He added that many homeless feel they cannot even remove their masks while sleeping for fear of attracting the ire of the public.
The doctor-turned-politician said that while it is natural for people to feel some anxiety about encountering infected persons, COVID patients are, in fact, more worried than anyone else, and they need psychological support, not mistrust.
“Although they can't shake hands and hug, a gentle look or smile can also make them feel at ease,” Lai wrote.
The vice president closed by writing that although no one can avoid the pandemic, he implores the public to be considerate for others in addition to following epidemic-prevention guidelines.