Fear and Racism are Growing Faster than Coronavirus

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By Sama Al Taie 

With the ongoing spread of COVID-19 that started in the city of Wuhan, China, the matter is no longer just focused on health. It has sparked a monster beyond what the eye can see: racism. Many have started to associate the coronavirus with the Chinese population as if they are the only ones who can be affected by the disease. The epidemic of racial judgments emerged from social media posts, turning a deadly virus to worldwide xenophobia and anti-Chinese sentiment. Such platforms can easily help influence one’s opinion on a certain topic through a viral post regardless of whether it is the truth or not. 

Since the World Health Organization announced the Coronavirus as a global health emergency, Chinese or East ‘Asian’ looking people on the streets have been the target of abusive comments and racist behavior. The impact of such minimal actions has caused uncontrollable chaos starting from wearing a mask when sitting next to a Chinese person, to not ordering anything from Asian restaurants. 

The fact that many symptoms are very similar to other viruses can frighten people as no one is sure of what a sneeze or cough from the person next door could result in. This has left people living in fear, and isolation in hopes that the deadly disease will soon vanish.

The ultimate focus should be on the fact that not every Chinese person is a carrier of the deadly virus. Racism will never be a solution. It will only split communities at a time when all people should be united for the sake of humanity. The only question left is, will we ever stop trusting fake news as our source of reality?