Coronavirus induced Xenophobia and racial discrimination as nativist unglues

Coronavirus induced Xenophobia and racial discrimination as nativist unglues

While the world is fighting from the deadly coronavirus outbreak, few sections of the society are busy fighting racism through racism. That too much racism or a nested racism concept, if that exists. I wonder! That’s too much hatred.

The Coronavirus outbreak now has over 2,159,450 confirmed cases globally as on 17 April 2020 7:19 PM AEST, claiming over 145,568 innocent lives. The epicentre of the outbreak has been shifting from its origin Wuhan in Hubei province of China to Italy in Europe and now to New York city in the United States. Although the latter epicentres may be responsible for the outbreak in nearby regions, but Wuhan remains the initial battleground for the virus.

Source: Our World in Data

Origin, Controversy Theories and Rise of the Discriminatory Incidents

The COVID-19 outbreak is a virus outbreak currently plaguing over all continents and regions, has led to another deadly mentality and actions of xenophobia, violence and prejudice. Overall multiple racial acts and displays have been recorded, most of which includes-

  1. Racism against East Asian and Southeast Asian descent people globally
  2. Racism by Mainland Chinese against residents of Hubei province
  3. Racism by Hong Kong communities against people from China
  4. Racism by Chinese against the people of African and western ethnicities

The activities of Xenophobia and violence either involve people of Chinese origin as the oppressor or the victim. The initial racial acts came to surface after China reported seemingly perpetual number of confirmed cases and deaths.

The situation overtime grew out of control as almost 20% of the residents of the Wuhan city left the town before any lockdown measures were implemented in the city. China had claimed that the first case in Wuhan was registered in December when the first patient in China was quarantined and later detected with a SARS like symptoms which later was identified as the new coronavirus or COVID-19. Some of the Chinese media report on the other hand suggest, that the patient zero instead was infect in November and was identified on November 17 which raises eyebrows on the Chinese to contain the news within their territory.

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Many countries even suspect that the confirmed cases and deaths figure from China have been adjusted, given that China is the World’s most populous country and reported only 83,760 confirmed cases with 4,636 deaths as of 17 April 2020, 9:03 PM AEST. Developed western world have been falling like domino effect to the current pandemic with the US alone, registering over 700,000 confirmed cases and 36,800 deaths.

coronaviruses that can infect Humans first identified in 1960s Source: US CDC

Though, there is a big ambiguity on the origin of the disease and the patient zero, some of the theories claim the disease to infect the first human transmission in the animal’s market in Wuhan. Another theory is that it actually came out of a lab and was being developed as a bioweapon by China, but accidently got released to the local inhabitants. Though certain researches have already denied the claim of the virus being bio-engineered.

The epidemiology suggests the new coronavirus to source from a bat like creature from which the virus may have been transmitted to a Pangolin, prior to affecting any human. Both Pangolin and Bats are used for human consumption, with the pangolin being considered to have certain remedial values.

 Initially the virus was not amenable to the human hosts but mutated later varying by the carrier. The research on the virus’ origin is still underway and any outcomes may modify further, subject to further research work.

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Isolation, Discriminatory and Violence in relation to the Pandemic

Although all the following events are unfortunate, some of these incidents can be categorised as isolation while some can be segmented as discriminatory and violent. While some of these events could be disturbing, readers discretion is advised. We shall not be held responsible for the authenticity of any of these incidents. Also, the written matter does not aim to change or impact any person’s view and thoughts on the issue and should considered only for informative purposes, we advise everyone to take learning from such events so they could be minimised. The following events are not exhaustive and only indicates that how the victim in one case might seem as the oppressor and in another a receiver.

27 January 2020: A China Southern flight from Nagoya to Shanghai was disrupted as many travellers denied boarding the flight along with 16 travellers from Wuhan.

28 January 2020: A restaurant chain in Hong Kong, Kwong Wing Catering announced that their restaurants would only cater to English or Cantonese-speaking people and not to the mandarin speaking people, on grounds of the fact that China had not implemented a border closure against Mainland China

February 2020: A conflict broke between the local Kazakhs and Chinese muslim communities killing over 10 people

March 2020: A Korean was physically assaulted in Jordan on grounds of his Asian appearance

1 March 2020: A Japanese family was physically and verbally assaulted in Palestine and was called “Corona corona”.

10 March 2020 – A video of a taxi driver forcibly removing his Chinese passengers from the car at a highway near Egypt’s Maadi district went viral

April 2020: African nationals in Guangzhou were evicted from their accommodations by local police and were asked to leave. Several other media reports claim that people from western and African countries faced eviction, sudden visa cancellations and denial to even being fed in the restaurants.

Source: Twitter

While these incidents are disturbing and abatable. We are no judge of this matter and do not segregate between isolation and xenophobic incidents and leave them on you to decide. The purpose of media is to spread and educate the social messages to the society and give them an unbiased opinion. Also, we believe no good can ever come from hatred, we are all humans of different colours and creed, but we are not that different.

We will be back with more interesting articles, till then Stay in, Stay Safe 


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