UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY NEWS) — The spread of the new Coronavirus around the world has brought with it xenophobia, as Asians are finding themselves suspicious and suspicious wherever they are.
The surgeon, Ria Liang, was shocked when a patient in the Australian tourist city of Gold Coast refused to shake her, attributing the virus that had killed hundreds.
But after posting tweets about the incident and getting a flood of responses, the doctor realized that her experience was actually a common practice.
There were increasing reports of people of Asian descent being exposed to anti-China rhetoric, regardless of the issue of whether they traveled to or were exposed to the virus.
Media reports said that Chinese tourists were spat on in Venice, Italy, while a family in Turin was accused of carrying the virus, while mothers in Milan used social media to urge children to stay away from their Chinese colleagues.
In Canada, a cameraman showed a white person telling a Canadian-Chinese woman “to have spotted your Coronavirus” inside a parking lot in a mall.
In Malaysia, I received a petition calling for “preventing the Chinese from entering our beloved country” with about 500,000 signatures within a week.
The incidents are part of what the “Australian College of Emergency Medicine” has described as “misleading information” that it says feeds into “classification (people) on a racial basis” where “deeply disturbing hypotheses about people who appear Chinese or Asian” are being formed.
The disease has long been accompanied by suspicion of foreigners, from linking Irish immigrants to “typhoid Mary” at the turn of the twentieth century in the United States, to the accusation that Nepalese peacekeepers brought cholera to Haiti when it was exposed to the earthquake of the past decade.
“It is a common phenomenon,” said Australian Health and Biosecurity director of Australian Research Authority Rob Greenville.
“With the spread of epidemics throughout human history, we have always tried to demean specific population groups,” he said, likening this behavior to medieval Europe when the plague spread, as foreigners and religious groups were often held responsible.
“Certainly it has appeared in China, but this is no reason to belittle the Chinese people,” he said, speaking of the emerging coronavirus.
In an article published in the British Medical Journal, Dr Abrar Karan warned that this behavior would discourage people with symptoms of the disease from admitting to it.
In turn, the lecture in health at the University of Sydney, Claire Hooker, indicated that government responses may have exacerbated the severity of prejudices.
The World Health Organization has warned of “measures that constitute meaningless interference in international trade and travel”, but that has not prevented dozens of countries from issuing travel bans.
The Pacific State of Micronesia prevented its citizens from visiting the mainland.
Hooker said that “travel bans mostly respond to people’s concerns,” and while they are sometimes justified, they usually have an impact on “deepening the link between the Chinese and the frightening viruses.”
A student in Sydney and born in Shanghai, Abe Shi, noted that the attitudes expressed by some of her peers “turned into an attack on Chinese students.”
While the conservative Australian government denied that its returning citizens from Wuhan, the Chinese city that had been the epicenter of the virus, had entered a remote island where they had imposed a healthy burrow, thousands of students stranded in China still faced the risk of being denied access to their studies.
“It now seems that they should be absent from the start of the school year up to the whole year, because of the way the curriculum is developed,” Shi said.
Hooker notes that studies in Toronto on the implications of the SARS virus that spread in 2002 and 2003 showed that the impact of feelings associated with xenophobia usually spanned far beyond the general health fear.
“While direct forms of racism may stop with reports of illness receding, the recovery of the economy may take longer while people continue to feel that they are not safe,” she said.
“To some extent, one might think that the repercussions have continued from the last (wave) of the Coruna virus so far, as China continues to be portrayed as a disease outbreak,” she said.
This article is written and prepared by our foreign editors writing for OBSERVATORY NEWS from different countries around the world – material edited and published by OBSERVATORY staff in our newsroom.
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