Asian People Are Speaking Out About Coronavirus Racism With #IAmNotAVirus
"The corona virus doesn’t give anyone the right to be racist and xenophobic."
Since the outbreak of COVID-19, our response to the virus has taught Asian-Australians one thing — barely concealed racism lies very close to the surface for many people.
As the virus spread, so did the number of racist incidents that Asians across the world have reported.
COVID2019 is unleashing something really nasty in Australia. This morning an elderly Chinese woman asked if she could walk with us around the local oval because yesterday a man yelled ‘bastard’ at her & she was frightened. We agreed, of course, & apologised as Australians. Awful!
— Jane Caro (@JaneCaro) March 11, 2020
In January a man in Sydney’s Chinatown collapsed and died — it was reported that no one performed CPR because they thought he may have coronavirus.
Last month some patients also refused to be seen by Asian doctors at Melbourne’s Royal Children’s Hospital.
That’s not to mention the everyday experiences of people being verbally — and sometimes physically — abused while they try to go about their lives.
— 𝕒𝕟𝕟𝕒 𝕒𝕔𝕜𝕖𝕣𝕤 ٩( ᐛ )و (@AckersAnna) March 10, 2020
Globally it’s become such a problem the World Health Organisation even had to issue a full page statement on how to stop the spread of “stigmatism“.
In response, the Twitter hashtag #IAmNotAVirus has gone viral, with people across the world sharing their own experiences.
I AM ABSOLUTELY DISGUSTED. #IamNotAVirus
These videos of Asians getting beat up, robbed, made fun of are popping up all over social media.
Hate crime does not prevent you from getting the coronavirus, it is not funny.
It is racist and ignorant.
— Susan Wong (@susanswong_) March 4, 2020
Every time I look, I see another story on a violent and vicious attack against Asians. Every time I go outside, I feel more and more afraid of being the next. Just this evening, people would move away or stare or cover their mouths when I walk by. I am terrified. #IAmNotAVirus
— Aimee C-T (@chivolute) March 5, 2020
Asians are getting beat up, robbed and made fun of because of the corona virus. Businesses are closing down because people think every Chinese (and East Asian) person has the virus. The corona virus doesn’t give anyone the right to be racist and xenophobic. #IamNotAVirus
— Erica (@eerica_lin) March 9, 2020
I sneeze into the crook of the arm. 2 min later the lady next to me lets the cleaning lady disinfect the desks. Afterwards I was asked to wear a surgical mask. The more I think about it, the more it annoys me.#JeNeSuisPasUnVirus #iamnotavirus
— Dr. Sou (@soumd) March 3, 2020
Under non-virus conditions, I’m pretty non-threatening as a small Chinese American woman in the South. Today, I had a tiny insight into the experience of my BIPOC brothers and sisters who experience this kind of perception/suspicion daily.
— Tiffanie Chan (@tiffaniechan) March 10, 2020
I had a group of mindless teenagers shout "coronavirus" at me on the bus. If you don't think that's racist, you are part of the problem #IamNotAVirus
— Michele Li (@michx15) January 30, 2020
i'm confused. people are attacking asians b/c they don't want CV. but they're physically beating them?? so, you don't want corona, but you're find touching them? racism comes in all shapes and forms, but stupid racists take the damn cake. 🤔🤔 #IamNotAVirus https://t.co/oXQ9hhzfwU
— Alexa Kay (@ALEXAKAYPR) March 6, 2020
— JennyGlutenFree (@JennyGlutenFree) March 7, 2020
People running away from Asians has an unexpected side effect: I always get a seat in the subway. #IamNotAVirus
— 0xReki (@0xReki) March 4, 2020
Aside from blatant racism, the subtle impacts have also had a big impact; Chinese restaurants have reported a drop in business, and some have been forced to close. Some people have also used the hashtag to show solidarity with people who have been racially abused, and it’s even spread from the Twittersphere to the real world.
Here's a mural against the racism that's been pumped out by many mainstream media outlets around the #coronavirus #outbreak. It is located in Kensington, Australia. Follows the thread #IamNotaVirus #JeNeSuisPasUnVirus #NoSoyUnVirus around the world. pic.twitter.com/FzNc6WN8dw
— van.nishing (@van_nishing) March 8, 2020
So remember people; wash your hands, stop touching your face, and don’t be a dick to Asian people.