An online newspaper called it a “Chinese Virus.” Fake posts have spread online and warned people to avoid Chinese products to kick out Corona Virus. As the outbreak spreads, some worry about communist racism.
Recently, when Sunil Kumar takes the train to Sydney for work, he has noticed other’s disappointing looks if he does not wear a face mask. Although he does not have the Corona Virus, Mr. Abagil, who is of Chinese heritage and grew up in Australia, knows it’s because of one reason: his communist ethnicity.
“It makes people like me who are very, very Australian feel like outsiders,” said Mr. Abagil, a youngster, who been to his home town, in China earlier this month and has since seen jokes degrading Chinese people. “It’s definitely invoking a lot of past racial stereotypes.” He added.
But as the WHO declared a global health emergency after the Corona Virus spread over countries including Australia, he is worried about an outbreak of misinformation, panic and racist sentiment.
The Corona Virus has killed more than 270 people, with nearly 11,000 infected cases reported, though in Australia there are just a handful of cases, and the Australian officials have said that the risk of spreading it for many Australians is very low.
Still, all universities have delayed all exams, face masks-used only a week ago against bush-fire smoke — are a common sight, and the government plans to evacuate Australians from the epicenter of the outbreak in China.
Other responses here in Australia, where the relationship with China is contentious, have taken a more xenophobic bent.
Image credits: Reuters