The Infected are very common in Terra, owing to the fact that Originium, the prime cause of Oripathy, plays an important role in the Terran industry and technology.
The Terrans hold a deeply rooted hatred towards the Infected ever since the ancient times, causing them to suffer a widespread, systemic discrimination. Exactly what gives birth to such hatred remains unknown, but this possibly stems from the misconception that Oripathy is contagious (though in reality, person-to-person Oripathy transmission is highly unlikely) that was exaggerated over the years.
The treatment of the Infected varies by the country, with the following being the worst:
- Ursus is infamous for rounding up and killing the Infected in various pogroms carried by the Ursus Imperial Army in a similar way to the various anti-communist massacres in our world (most notably, the ones in China and Indonesia) or the Soviet Great Purge. A Reunion member recalled this experience, where he managed to survive by hiding in the other Infected's corpses.
- Chernobog was one of the many areas in Ursus that saw the worst treatment against the Infected, with people even cheering amidst anti-Infected pogroms around the city.
- It is implied that Yan treats the Infected in a similar way to Ursus, though to a much lesser degree, such as being segregated from the public in the name of health concern and forbidding them to wander around without permission. Their harsh treatment can also be seen by the fact that the Yan emissaries visiting Lungmen, particularly their leader Leizi, held a prejudiced view towards the Infected. Their presence was also why Wei Yenwu ordered the Infected in Lungmen's slums to be purged.
- The Infected in Victoria are promised to have "human rights" by the nobles, but in actual practice, they are heavily exploited in which they work exceeding standard working hours. They are also confined into quarantine zones, regardless of age and gender, with non-Infected who hide the Infected facing severe punishments.
- Treatment of Infected varies in different places as well. For example, the city of Caladon is planning to decrease their working hours for not more than fourteen hours and welcomes other Infected elsewhere to settle and work. This policy, however, could be seen as an action of taking the bread out of the mouths of the local non-Infected community.
- In Kazimierz, Infected knights participating in the Kazimierz Major are segregated through an institution known as "Infected Participation System" where they are forced to take part in bloodsport against gloompincers and often one another, and even such system was implemented only after the grand victory of the Blood Knight. Other Infected are forced to live underground waiting to be exploited or purged by authorities such as the Armorless Union.
- Columbia, at first glance, is famed for its lack of discrimination towards the Infected, who are supposedly treated equally to the non-Infected. However, Infected migrants have to earn the Columbian citizenship through their contribution as workers, which means that the Infected are seen as cheap labor in Columbia. It could arguably be seen, however, in a way, as a mutually beneficial system for both sides.
- In truth, companies seem to exploit the Infected with the promise of emancipation and medical treatment, though, in reality, these tend to be lies. The Columbian corporation Mama John's provides their Infected workers with "Oripathy suppressants" that are nothing more than painkillers and analgesics that merely hide the symptoms of Oripathy and do nothing to actually cure or slow down the disease.
Some Terran countries, however, treat the Infected better (or rather, not as bad) than the above:
- Any Lateranian who becomes Infected for various reasons will be banished from the country while retaining the Lateranian citizenship and rights. Infected Lateranians can even return to their homeland under certain extraordinary circumstances.
- Even though Leithania has laws which mandates that Infected whose Oripathy reaches a certain stage have to be euthanized, the Infected are otherwise simply kept into quarantine zones.
- The Infected in Minos are seemingly not discriminated/segregated, as they can participate in the Hymnoi Wisdom. The only exception to this is for the Minoan Twelve Hero cult, where the position within its clergy is only open to non-Infected. If a priest or priestess of the hero cult were found to be Infected, they will face demotion.
- While Rim Billiton does not directly persecute the Infected, they are faced with unaffordable medical care and consistently denied employment.
- While most Sargonian lords neglect the Infected and let them die a slow, painful death, not all of them do. Some, notably the Tulla family, will quarantine the Infected in specifically designated "Infected quarters" and provide them with medical treatment.
- The tribes in the jungles of eastern Sargon, however, have no knowledge about Oripathy whatsoever, which they simply see it as a "stone disease." As the result, discrimination/persecution against the Infected in the jungle tribes is literally non-existent.
- Kjerag does not discriminate the Infected as well thanks to their primitive society and their religion, and Infected Kjeragians are not quarantined or banished and could even live a normal life like others. However, with the increasing industralization conducted by the Silverash family, there is fear that such peace might be broken due to possible Originium pollution, leading to the opposition from the conservative Browntails and Paleroches.
It is, however, an important thematic of Arknights' storytelling that the countries that do not outright persecute the Infected are more than likely "whitewashing" their prejudice and concealing some other form of exploitation of the Infected. The harsh treatment faced by the Infected is the main contributor to the bleakness of Arknights' setting, although it is also very frequently pointed out that strife and oppression does not stop at the Infected, and the specter of Oripathy is only one of Terra's many problems.
The majority of Infected who suffered from the Terrans' prejudice have become distrustful and embittered towards the non-Infected, with some even harboring deep feelings of vindication, that led to them using violent methods to liberate the Infected from misery, as attested by the existence of the Reunion Movement. Some Infected, however, choose to seek for non-violent methods to end their suffering, with Rhodes Island being the most notable of them.