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How I Feel About the Coronavirus’s Impact on Asians

People all over the world have been growing increasingly worried over their health and safety as the coronavirus continues to infect millions, but for the Asian community, there is another major concern to deal with.

As a Chinese American, I’m disappointed with the way the president and society, in general, has been addressing the negative impacts the virus specifically has on the Asian community. Xenophobia and anti-Asian hate crimes have been on the rise as the spread of the coronavirus continues. When the first wave of stories reporting violence against Asians hit the news, I had family members calling and telling me to stay safe, not just from the virus, but from…racist people too. Having to hear all of that frustrates me more than anything because in the midst of this crisis, where everyone should be united in fighting one common enemy, here are people actually assaulting others for a disease that is no one’s fault. I was especially disgusted and horrified when President Trump referred to the virus as the “China virus” and saw absolutely nothing wrong with this term. Sure, he may have backtracked on his words by now, but I truly think his phrasing and labeling of the virus has contributed to attacks on Asians.

It’s honestly really saddening to witness how easy it is to uproot the civil structures of our society and fall into a blame game toward each other, and in this case toward a certain group of people. It just goes to show how fragile society truly is. Many people I know of Asian descent, including myself, have endured at the very least, acts of microaggression, whether it be at school, work, or the grocery store. The reality of this scares me because it makes me realize there’s potential for these small acts of racism to escalate into something a lot more dangerous. These current events have revealed that being an American born native speaker is not enough to guarantee safety from racism when people can’t look past their biases. The virus impacts us all and targeting people does not benefit anyone’s situations. 

Asians are being equated to a virus, but we’re not a virus! We are humans and don’t deserve to be belittled this way.
 

Emily is a junior and majoring in English at Michigan State University.
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