A Wuhan resident’s outcry on the challenges the people of Wuhan are facing has gone viral. University student Helen Chen shares a heartbreaking story about humanity’s lack of empathy and shortsightedness, at a time we desperately need more compassion.
Humanity never fails to shine in the face of adversity. We hear stories of bravery, of people setting aside their differences and working towards a common goal.
Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. Sometimes, the worst of humanity is shown, too.
The wake of the new coronavirus outbreak is a clear and mortifying example.
When news broke of a new epidemic in China, people were quick to point fingers and throw their judgments at the people of Wuhan.
The harshest comments are those saying that Chinese people “deserve” what is happening to them.
One woman posted a (now deleted) viral tweet of someone eating bat soup and wrote, “When you eat bats and bamboo rats and s— and call it a ‘Chinese delicacy,’ why y’all be acting surprised when diseases like #coronavirus appear?”
Helen Chen had enough. She shared a now-viral post explaining that “most people aren’t like that.” Chen is one of approximately 11 million residents that was put on lockdown in Wuhan just before the Lunar New Year.
She expresses her dismay on these racist comments, saying that it’s “heartbreaking.”
“I hope I’m not coming off as playing the victim. I’m merely trying to tell my side of the story. And I’m so sorry the virus has now spread to other countries. I truly am very sorry. But not all Chinese are bad people. Not all are selfish and entitled and just downright disgusting human beings. I don’t think it’s fair for you to say that we all ‘deserve’ it because of the terrible behaviours of some.”
Read her full post:
I’m one of the millions in Wuhan right now who is affected by this. It is heartbreaking to see comments here saying how…
Coronavirus fuels racism all over the world
Currently, the coronavirus is showing no sign of slowing down. As the number of deaths climbs to 560 and more than 28,000 confirmed cases, fear fuels racist sentiment globally.
The 2019 n-CoV is spreading more than just its virus. Along with panic and misinformation, anti-Chinese sentiment is also rampant everywhere you look.
Every sneeze or cough from an Asian person brings about suspicious or downright nasty looks. False health warnings include avoiding Asian food and Asian-populated areas. Online, people are posting their vicious opinions and jokes about Chinese people.
A father recalls a particularly disturbing incident his son experienced. Devin Cabanilla’s eight-year-old Korean-American son was told to get away by Costco food sample lady because he may be “from China.”
Ugh @costco food sample lady told kid to get away because he may be “from China” and was worrying about getting infected #Wuhan #CoronaVirus Sad my boy has to receive racial stereotyping Ironically mask makes him safer to be around Told a store supe, he was cool to hear us #yuck pic.twitter.com/SE6LJmMSUO
— Devin Cabanilla (@devincabanilla) January 26, 2020
— Stephanie Ip • 葉可怡 (@stephanie_ip) January 26, 2020
In Japan, the hashtag #ChineseDon’tComeToJapan is also trending on Twitter. Meanwhile, one regional newspaper in France published a “Yellow Alert” on its front page.
Accepting Chinese people into its borders is also a topic of heated debate in the Philippines, with a lot of citizens criticizing the government’s late decision to ban Chinese entrants. Initially, the Philippine government said it will not fully close its borders for “humanitarian and diplomatic reason.”
In the wake of the public outcry, the Philippine government urges its citizens not to engage in xenophobia, saying:
“Spreading fake news and racist, xenophobic messages can be more dangerous than the virus itself due to their negative effects of causing confusion, fears, rancor and instability.
“In fact, we should give moral support and encouragements to China in their valiant efforts to contain this ailment.”
How about you? What’s your opinion on the coronavirus? Let us know what you think.