Xenophobia during Coronavirus Pandemic #A-ZChallenge2020

Covid19 has aggravated Xenophobia especially Sinophobia all over the world. For obvious reasons the Chinese are the worst affected. The conspiracy theories that are doing the rounds point fingers towards the Communist regime of China. As a result many common Chinese people are getting targeted. However, in many cases many non-Chinese mongoloid people are becoming the target of racism. For example, recently a Taiwanese was targeted in an Australian supermarket as a Chinese. In Delhi someone spit on a Manipuri girl calling her a Chinese. Interestingly, even within China people from Hubei province are facing discrimination from the people of mainland China. Many also stopped visiting Chinese restaurants.


A video reportedly recorded in Kibera, Kenya shows an angry crowd threatening a man and woman of East Asian descent about the coronavirus. A man in the crowd shouts at the frightened couple, “You are corona!” A motorcycle rider from the crowd later raised his hand threatening to slap the Asian man. The couple looked angry and therefore started swearing in Chinese towards the crowd before the video ended.

In Israel, more than 1,000 South Korean tourists were instructed to avoid public places and remain in isolation in their hotels. In Japan, the hashtag #ChineseDontComeToJapan had been trending on Twitter.  A Korean working in Jordan since 2014 reported to the police that he was beaten and mocked due to his Asian appearance. A Palestinian mother with her daughter chanted “Corona, corona” to the two Japanese women who were in Ramallah for non-governmental aid mission. Singapore government has ordered an investigation against an Islamic teacher, Abdul Halim bin Abdul Karim, after he had posted on Facebook that the coronavirus pandemic was “a retribution by Allah against the Chinese for their oppressive treatment of Muslim Uighurs in Xinjiang.” In a separate post, Abdul Halim claimed that Chinese people do not wash properly after defecating and were not as hygienic as Muslims, causing the virus to spread. The same thing was also said by an Indian Muslim cleric. A restaurant in Seoul had a sign in red Chinese characters stating: “No Chinese Allowed”.

Asians in Paris have reported an increase in racism and harassment. A Chinese woman in Berlin, who had not visited China in three months, was reportedly turned away by her gynecologist, claiming that the coronavirus may infect pregnant women in the clinic. In Munich, a German woman of Chinese descent was assaulted by a neighbor, who sprayed her with disinfectant, screamed “Corona” at her. A Chinese man was barred from entering a gas station in Cassola in Vicenza, Veneto, and was told “You have coronavirus, you cannot enter!” at which point somebody broke a bottle on his head causing severe injuries. The same day, an elderly Filipino pensioner was attacked and punched in a supermarket.

On a KLM flight from Amsterdam to Seoul on 11 February 2020, flight attendants put up a sign in Korean discouraging passengers from using a restroom on the plane allegedly reserved for the flight crew, apparently out of fear of the coronavirus.  Japanese School of Amsterdam cautioned parents not to bring their children to playgrounds and other places frequented by local children, amidst a spate of violent bullying incidents targeting Japanese children. In Montreal, vandals targeted Vietnamese Buddhist temples by smashing statues and religious artifacts. Tottenham Hotspur footballer Dele Alli posted a video on Snapchat where he wore a face mask and appeared to mock an Asian man seated near him in Dubai about the coronavirus outbreak. He later apologized and deleted the video.

U.S. President Donald Trump frequently referred to the coronavirus as the “Chinese Virus” in an attempt to point to its origin, a term considered by some to be anti-Chinese and racist. He later argued this was “not racist at all” after lawmakers including Elizabeth Warren raised objections about the statement. Additionally Trump stated that the coronavirus was not Asian Americans’ fault and they should be protected in a tweet. Trump also brushed off the alleged use of the derogatory term “Kung Flu” by a White House official to refer to COVID-19 when asked by a reporter during a media session. Eventually he pulled back on the “Chinese Virus” name due to Asian communities facing an increased number of racist taunts and incidents as the illness spread across the U.S.


13 thoughts on “Xenophobia during Coronavirus Pandemic #A-ZChallenge2020

  1. justcalmwildness says:

    Corona Virus is really bringing out a lot of bad traits in people. While Chinese people are being harassed outside their country, they are also harassing black people who are mostly African students in China. There is no excuse to treat people so poorly.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. neha jain says:

    During such situations, xenophobia is quite obvious but this is not an excuse to treat people like this. One needs to understand how to deal with this. Everyone is fighting against a same cause. Insightful post. Thanks for writing.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Anagha Yatin says:

    The vengeful manifestation, by many, of the deep-rooted frustration owing to the current chaotic situation is definitely regretful. Restraint and patience appear rare gems.

    Liked by 1 person

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