News of the coronavirus outbreak from Wuhan, China has been circulating through the media since January. There have been over 40,000 cases worldwide, the majority of them in China, and only a little over 1,000 deaths have been causes, according to WebMD. This means less than one-tenth of a percent of cases have been fatal.
13 confirmed cases have been reported in the U.S., according to the CDC. Lawrence, Kan. was thought to have a case last month, but was tested negative. The patient was kept for a little over a week while tests were done to ensure his respiratory issues were not signs of an infection. There seems to be no need for panic or, more importantly, racism based around the virus here in the United States.
Stories of discrimination against immigrants from China or even of Asian descent have been trending on Social Media. Though the circumstances may be scary, there is no reason to be rude. The coronavirus is not hereditary nor is it automatically spread to anyone who looks Chinese. Keep your xenophobia in check.
Nations are taking the necessary precautions to fight the spread of the disease. Tourists leaving China have been quarantined and checked for the virus before and/or after leaving the country in hopes of stopping the spread of the disease. Less than 1% of cases have been outside of China.
One Chinese doctor died last week from the virus at just 34 years old. His name was Dr. Li Wenliang. He contracted the disease from one of his glaucoma patients. Wenliang was one of the first professionals to warn the Chinese government of the virus but was silenced by accusations of providing false information, according to an article from the New Yorker.
A hospital doctor in China died from the coronavirus after working with infected patients. At 62 years old, Liang Wudong contracted the virus while working to help those infected at the outbreak’s center in Wuhan. He died nine days later, according to the New York Post.
Any new virus is scary, and adding deaths to the mix makes it worse, but I just want to emphasize that the coronavirus is no reason to be xenophobic. It is very, very unlikely that anyone on campus has been infected, so please be nice to everyone. Especially our exchange students. Living abroad is hard.
Being discriminated against because of what is happening in your home country is worse. This goes for any of our Chinese friends here in America right now. This is a hard time for everyone, especially for those whose families and friends are affected by the outbreak. And to anyone who is being mean just because someone looks Asian, you never know what is happening in their lives so try to be nice even if it’s out of character for you.