The world in grips of an epidemic more dangerous than coronavirus

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    Source : AlJazeera

    We must prevent the spread of the epidemic of racist fear-mongering occasioned by the coronavirus outbreak.

    Ever since coronavirus (COVID-19) was detected in the Chinese city of Wuhan, public health officials inside and outside of China have been trying to prevent the outbreak from transforming into a full-fledged global pandemic. 

    But as public health officials have been addressing the medical dimensions of this outbreak, another epidemic has been spreading much more quickly across the globe: racist fear-mongering. 

    The latter may prove more dangerous than the former – and each may exacerbate the other.

    In a piece for Al Jazeera, Edward Hon-Sing Wong detailed the long history of anti-Chinese racism in Canada that has once again been exposed by this outbreak. But the global epidemic of racism occasioned by this virus is not limited to Canada, or even North America, and neither is it confined to Sinophobia. 

    The Sinophobia we are witnessing today, in relation to a disease outbreak which could have easily originated in any Western European or North American country, is deeply rooted in the fertile ground of a much more widespread xenophobia.

    As health officials in China and around the world seek to prevent the spread of this virus, the rest of us must prevent the spread of the racist condition of “fear of the foreigner” which predates and shall outlive this outbreak.  

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