One of the most important lessons that everyone needs to learn during this pandemic is based on a YouTube video that I watched. This video focuses on Asian hate crimes and bias following Trump’s comments about the “China virus.” During the video, Whoopi Goldberg, a renowned host on The View, states that we should all commit to never giving a flu or any kind of cold, illness, disease, etc, a racial overtone because we don’t know where any of these things actually come from. This type of labelling results in people “going to go and take care of it,” as is evident based on the rise in hate crimes. The flu does not belong to or come from any racial group. The same holds true for COVID-19.
Although the virus may originate in Wuhan City, China, we CANNOT attribute the virus to being a “Chinese” virus or blaming an entire ethnicity for causing a pandemic. The same holds true for the Delta Plus variant. The other day, Niagara Falls was packed with lots of tourists. A lot of people commented on the post showing that Niagara has become “India” and “Mumbai” and that we’re going to see a spike in cases. Remember, although this variant may have been identified in India, it is not synonymous with Indian people. This type of harmful and nonsensical rhetoric harms communities, resulting in discrimination and hate crimes which can be as severe as the Atlanta shooting earlier this year (which results in the loss of several Asian lives due to a White supremacist).
While a new variant may be alarming for many of us, let’s continue to follow the advice of clinicians and scientists. Continue getting vaccinated, wearing masks, and social distancing. Let’s not let misinformation divide us. We must look inward, examine our own biases, and learn to look at every source of information presented to us with skepticism.