KEY POINTS

  • COVID-19 is causing harm to the health and also to the wellbeing of others
  • Persons perceived to be COVID-19 infected are being subjected to violence
  • Those who have Asian features are also said to be suffering the same fate

The other danger of the COVID-19 pandemic has nothing to do with how the virus mutates or as to how it affects your health. Recently, a video of a man aboard a bus in Lviv, Ukraine, being attacked by fellow passengers has surfaced on several social media platforms.

coronavirus racism and racial discrimination coronavirus racism and racial discrimination Photo: cottonbro - Pexels

According to NYPost, the victim was coughing, and other passengers may have interpreted it as caused by the deadly COVID-19. The video showed the victim being kicked, punched by fellow passengers, and forced out of the bus. News reports further say that other passengers feared they might get infected because of the coughing, which was presumably why they kicked him off the bus.

 

 

Not The First Time

This is not the first time that people perceived to be suffering from COVID-19 have been the subject of such attacks. Last February, local media in Quebec, Canada, reported that a Canadian family was removed from their flight after fellow passengers raised the specter of a possible COVID-19 infection. They complained that a member of that Canadian family was coughing and is said to be feverish, prompting other passengers to suspect it to be caused by COVID-19. The airline was forced to remove the family from the flight.

In New York City early February of this year, another such attack happened at a subway station in the Chinatown area, this time involving a woman wearing a face mask. One of the onlookers said the man first called the woman a “diseased b***h” before unleashing a flurry of blows to her. Witnesses say, however, that they cannot tell if the woman was Asian or not. This is because her head was completely covered with the hood of a parka, she had big glasses on, and her face was also covered by a face mask.

 

 

Rapidly Becoming A Race Issue

Health experts and officials have been telling everyone the fact that the coronavirus pandemic can be traced back to the Chinese city of Wuhan. While Chinese officials have been claiming otherwise, the evidence presented by health experts and government authorities does show the fact that it started in Wuhan. What authorities failed to anticipate was the animosity it can generate to those with Asian ethnicity.

Early this month, a Korean woman was confronted and punched while walking down a street in Midtown Manhattan in New York City. Reports say that somebody yelled at the woman, “Where is your corona mask, you Asian b***h?” before punching her and in the process, dislocating her jaw.

 

 

A few weeks ago, in Queens, New York City, there were reports of another attack on an Asian man while walking with his 10-year-old son. According to local media, the Asian man and his son were harassed by another person who shouted, “Where the f*** is your mask? You f*****g Chinese”. He then hit the Asian on the head after shouting invectives at him.

No Additional Responsibility

The assaults in New York are being investigated by the NYPD Hate Crimes Task Force as a possible bias crime. The Governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo, has also directed the state police to aid in the task force’s investigation.

According to Gov. Cuomo, there is no evidence that those of Asian ethnicity should bear an additional responsibility for the coronavirus transmission. He added that diversity is the strength of the state and called for everyone to unite amid the crisis.