Embrace the ‘COVID Shame’ in 2023

Getting COVID-19 is 2023 is extremely embarrassing, especially for the first time.


Photo Keirra McGoldrick

A positive COVID-19 home test.

Keirra McGoldrick, Opinion Editor

As someone who has taken all necessary precautions against the horrid virus of COVID-19, for example getting vaccinated with a booster shot, along with putting Lysol on everything in sight, one would not expect to catch this virus for the first time in February of 2023. It’s very embarrassing if I’m being honest.

Throughout the entirety of the pandemic, I never got COVID; now on a random Friday afternoon, after a week of assuming I had a cold, I find out it’s COVID. I think the main reason that it’s assumed it was a cold is because of how nobody talks about this virus anymore. It’s too normalized, which is precisely the reason why I’m ashamed to say I caught it.

I think that’s the reason many people know they have it and don’t tell anyone while still attending work or school, in order to not face the scrutiny and backlash that comes with it.    

A newfound experience among people getting COVID outside the pandemic is called ‘COVID Shame’. Many see this as a bad thing, but I think it can actually be very helpful. If people are afraid of the ‘COVID Shame’, they will probably be more likely to take more precautions against the virus altogether. In turn, it will limit the amount of exposure and keep everyone safe.

The thing is the majority of people who have never had COVID before think they’re immune and won’t get it like I did. And they would be very sadly mistaken. It’s a very humbling experience, assuming you’re immune just to get smacked with a positive test. In a way, it’s like being late to a trend.

In reality, even in 2023, COVID-19 is still a very dangerous virus and should be treated as such. Just because you think it’s a cold, doesn’t mean it is. Or just because you don’t want to face the embarrassment that comes with dealing with the virus, keep everyone around you safe and get tested.