Got Corona 2


Ludia Kim

This is part 2 of a 2 part series

The recent coronavirus has caused rising fear in the general public in the United States. 

Alongside the fear of physically contracting the virus there has been an increase in microaggressions and hate speech toward the Chinese 

The New York Times stated there is an increase of the belief that the coronavirus is “Chinese culture”. Since the virus’ origin was in Wuhan, China, racists stereotyped Asians to have the coronavirus.

Aretha Deng, a Chinese-American junior at Arizona State University, noticed after a sneeze, “Instead of ‘Bless you’ or ‘Are you OK, their reaction is an instant state of panic.”

The New York Times article, “‘Are You Sick’ For Asian-Americans A Sneeze Brings Suspicion,” claimed that big cities in Chicago and New York, city leaders encouraged citizens to attack restaurants and stores that are in Chinatown, causing the businesses to suffer. 

Chicago’s WGN9 News stated on Monday, February 24, communities around Chinatown Square Plaza helped the Chinese businesses declining because of the stigma of fear. Carlos Matias said, “There’s a stigma with the coronavirus that has made people scared to come around, some of them are down 50-80% in business.” Statistics show around 3000 jobs have been affected by the decline. 

A Chinese resident of San Francisco, Robert Li claimed, “Of course, if you eat raw bats, you’re going to get coronavirus, (recalling what workers said) they were basically making fun of Asians. This is part of a racial trope that Chinese people eat everything.”

Disease is the most efficient way to make a nation’s xenophobia increase. But, as Wisconsin health officer Jeanne Ayers said, “Ethnicity does not influence transmission of the novel coronavirus.”

According to CNN, on February 2, a woman was assaulted by a man at a New York subway station. A witness claimed they heard the man called the woman a, “diseased b****,” after noticing the Asian appearing woman was wearing a mask. The witness began recording after the man hit the woman on the head.  In the video, the woman ran after the man, who then attacked her. A statement the witness wrote for the NYPD claimed, “I believe that this incident has immense potential in opening up the discussion of Asian American-directed racial tension…” She continued, “The sad trend that I’ve observed about racially directed hate is that almost all of (it) stems from fearful ignorance… Racial tensions are indeed escalating, and we now have a significant reason to take agency in acting.” CNN also reported, born and raised Los Angeles, Thai-American Tanny Jiraprapasuke, was verbally harassed by a man in a LA subway. In the video Jiraprapasuke recorded, the man exclaimed, Every disease has ever come from China, homie. Everything comes from China because they’re f****** disgusting.” The man continues, “They can be so smart and be like, ‘Oh yeah, I developed this, I developed that.’ But like yeah, you can’t even wipe your a**.”

Jiraprapasuke explained to CNN this event was not the worst. The Thai-American concluded her interview, “I am not a virus.”