Coronavirus: A time when racism is more deadly than COVID-19


Jessica Guo, Staff Writer

As the novel Coronavirus virus sweeps the globe, the Chinese population is bombarded with immense discrimination. Already existent Sinophobia has been tremendously amplified by panic-stricken individuals with irrational fear. Restaurants in South Korea, Japan, Hong Kong, and Vietnam have refused to accept Chinese customers, Asian children across Europe are taunted, and more close to home, an Asian woman in New York City was physically assaulted by a stranger for being wrongfully assumed as “diseased.” 

Asian-Americans across the country are afraid to go grocery shopping, travel alone, or let their children go outside because of the physical abuse they may face. 

 New forms of Sinophobia are also arising as the Coronavirus upends American life. Not only are physical attacks becoming more prominent, social media hatred has intensified racial tensions. Called “evil” and “vicious” across multiple platforms, many describe the resentment they are facing as similar to the kind faced by American Muslims and Arabs after the terrorist attacks in September 2001. However, unlike President George W. Bush who urged Muslim-American tolerance, President Trump has largely spurred Sinophobia. 

President Trump has repeatedly called COVID-19 the “Chinese virus” and insisted that “this is all China’s fault.” He did issue an apology on Twitter in which he stated that “the spreading of the virus is NOT their (Asian-Americans) fault in any way, shape, or form.” The trouble is, the damage may have already been done. After the misterming of the virus, researchers say that there has been a surge of verbal and physical assaults. Epidemiologist Tony Lu fears for his son, Larry. “They are going to call my 8-year-old son a Chinese virus. It’s serious.”

This situation has sparked undeserved hatred towards innocent Asian-Americans. While it is true that the coronavirus did originate in China, this does not justify the discrimination the Chinese population around the world is facing. Just because one is Chinese, it does not mean they are infected as everyone is equally susceptible to the virus.

Instead of weakening our country by being ruled by fear, let us follow in a French teacher’s footsteps who started a Twitter conversation under #JeNeSuisPasUnVirus (I am not a virus) to abolish racism once and for all. Let us unite together and support each other in times of need, and let us inspire others to do the same.