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Sep. 28, 2020 – For those experiencing homelessness, navigating life during coronavirus brings some unique challenges.  

“The fact that the current opiate epidemic isn’t being addressed with the same type of force of any type of epidemic that is killing a particular group of people in of itself sort of speaks to forms of prejudice that is triggered by stigma against those people who may be suffering,” said Jeffrey Schonberg, a lecturer in the department of Anthropology at San Francisco State University

Schonberg is also a fellow at the Berkeley Center for Social Medicine at the University of California Berkeley. He’s co-author of “Righteous Dopefiend”— a book for which he and Phillipe Bourgouis spent several years doing participant observation with the homeless in San Francisco.  

During much of that time, both Schonberg and Bourgouis lived and even slept outside along with the homeless population in San Francisco, and experienced a lot of stigma. Schonberg has also witnessed examples of this stigma during the pandemic among healthcare workers. 

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