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We have entered a dangerous moment in the international coronavirus story, and it has nothing to do with slowing the spread of this killer bug: Too many people are eager to demonstrate their racism against the Chinese.
The “Chinese are dirty people and that’s what caused coronavirus” trope is sliding into far too many conversations. Those few words say more about a person’s ignorance than they do about their common sense. There might be reason to point a finger of blame at the Chinese government for not acting more quickly to the news from and near Wuhan, the epicenter of coronavirus, that too many people were getting sick at too rapid a clip, but that has nothing to do with the Chinese people.
Anyone who says they will not talk to, serve, treat, teach, trade with, or otherwise engage with someone from China because that person is “infected” and they don’t want to catch coronavirus from him or her is endorsing racism.
When you hear people say they will not step foot into a Chinese restaurant because they might catch coronavirus, tell them to think rationally. Remind them they have a better chance of catching the typical flu, which almost certainly will kill more people (in the U.S.) than will coronavirus, by not washing their hands after being on the bus.
Governments around the world are taking necessary precautions, most especially quarantine, in order to ensure that anyone who might be infected with coronavirus is kept as far away as possible from healthy people. Those who are infected are not just Chinese; unfortunately, the sick were in China when the virus began to rapidly spread or they came into contact with someone who was.
As more governments around the world report the first cases of coronavirus within their countries, the potential for the spread of this racist nonsense will increase.
Do your part to slow down coronavirus by paying attention to your health. Do your part to slow done racist talk about the Chinese by paying attention to what you say about them, most especially now.