Doctor Tirta Mandira Hudhi or dr. Tirta, who is also an influencer, appealed people not to excommunicate or to stay away from allied health or patients with COVID-19.
"There should be no negative stigma on health workers or patients with COVID-19 because people affected by COVID-19 are not a disgrace," he said in an online discussion entitled "How to React Socially Through Social Media on Tuesday (7/4).
In a discussion organized by the COVID-19 Task Force UGM and the HPU team in the context of improving online education and social action skills in handling COVID-19, he stressed that what people should avoid is the virus, not the person. In responding to this phenomenon, he explained that volunteers include agents who have a vital role in rectifying the negative stigma that develops in society.
According to him, volunteers play a strategic role in breaking the chain of distribution of COVID-19. One of them is by educating the public with the right and right information about COVID-19, starting from what is COVID-19, how it is transmitted, and how to prevent it.
"So, there are medical and non-medical volunteers. Medical volunteers struggle directly with patients, and non-medical volunteers struggle behind with education and prevention," explained the alumnus of FKKMK UGM.
In educating the community, Tirta said, volunteers are expected to understand the characteristics of the community first. For example, when dealing with lower-middle-class people such as in terminals, markets, landfills, and others in their delivery, they use language that is not too formal. This condition is different when dealing with middle-class people and above, in which the words can be conveyed more formally.
"If the middle class and above use IG, it will be finished. If the lower middle class must be accompanied and taught directly. There are examples, such as how to wash hands properly, wear masks, how to cough, and others," he said.
Tirta said that in the task of educating the public, volunteers are expected to work based on data from reliable sources such as WHO, CDC, Ministry of Health, and Health Office. Education carried out to relate to a clean and healthy lifestyle (PHBS), physical distancing and social distancing, avoiding stigmatization of health workers and COVID-19 patients, not going home, and others.
"The formula for dealing with COVID is instead of being afraid, let's us more to be vigilant. Don't underestimate this virus but remains calm," he said.
In the discussion, it was also conveyed how to communicate for social action on social media by Dr. Supriyati, FKKMK UGM lecturer. She explained that several problems usually occurred in the interaction, such as the message is not following the needs of the target, or it is not received according to the perception of the message sender. Besides, the message delivered is not guaranteed to be accurate and does not always pay attention to empathy.
"Use communication with empathy and make sure the timing is right," she explained.
She also shared some tips so that communication can run effectively, and the message can be adequately conveyed. One of them is by mastering the material or information to be expressed. Also, applying necessary communication skills well, such as self discourse, listening, asking questions, verbal and nonverbal alignment.
Next, grow empathy and build relationships. No less important is being able to encourage social movements.
"In principle, the social action that friends do as volunteers are to carry out health education by providing information, educating, and empowering the community. Small things that we do together and consistently will produce significant changes,” she said.
Translator: Natasa A