By Daniel Gaffney
Coronavirus cases have risen to 64,000 globally, if that isn’t worrying enough, the outbreak has also led to a reported increase in racism toward Asian communities.
Despite only four confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the UK, Britain’s 390,000-strong Chinese community have noticed a markedly racist response to the global health crisis.
Asian communities in Britain have faced increasing levels of verbal and physical abuse in the aftermath of the outbreaks, while racist slurs and videos have been circulating on social media.
One video that keeps popping up online shows a Chinese food market. The video clearly shows market stalls that offer raw meat and fish, as well as vegetables that are displayed in the open air. This provoked people to comment that this kind of food market is the real reason behind the outbreak, while one un-named individual described a market vendor as a “f*****g wrongen”.
Little do these people know that some of these food markets shown are hundreds of years old, while the goods that they sell have been part of the Asian diet for millennia; this includes rats and insects! There are probably more infractions of general food hygiene standards in your local Chinese than there are in an authentic Chinese market, where food is sold fresh.
Coronavirus is the latest epidemic to fuel fear, mistrust and racist scapegoating. Black communities experienced the same treatment during the Ebola outbreaks in recent years. Sadly, this is another chapter in the age old story of fear and hysteria acting as a preface to bigotry and small mindedness.