My Ethnicity is NOT a Virus

BY: CLAIRE KIM

COVID-19, the most popular and most used word right now.

This acronym stands for “Coronavirus Disease 2019”. It’s become the standardized term in defining this novel virus that has been circulating around the world over the past few months. No, it’s not the “Chinese virus” or the “Wuhan Virus”. No. And for those who think this title is inoffensive, well you’re wrong. It’s plain racist.

While it may seem justifiable to call a virus based on the origins of the culture it came from, this perception fails to respect a population that embodies the culture as a part of their individuality. Yes, China is at fault for not taking initiative when first recognizing the virus as an epidemic, however, they are not to blame for the “creation” of the virus. The virus could have proliferated anywhere in the world. It just happened to occur in China this time.

When we look at deadly viruses from the past — Ebola, MERS –, we provoked the same racist tendencies towards populations who centered the greatest number of cases as we are doing with COVID-19. Even though yes, the virus, could have started anywhere else in the world, we take it upon ourselves to put blame on those nations and cultures that suffer the most in times of crisis.

Why do we do this? Why do we have the tendency to point fingers at someone, some group when things go wrong? Why do we create more social tension when the virus itself has produced enough paranoia?

Such acts of vulgarity need to stop.

The coronavirus is not the “Chinese virus” or the “Wuhan virus”. It’s the coronavirus. Stop making things more complicated and more ridiculous than it should be. It’s a waste of time.

Everyone is sensitive right now. Just please, be kind.

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