By Sabrina Wang
Artwork by Sabrina Wang
The artwork depicts a young woman wearing a face mask, which is often associated with the coronavirus.
The coronavirus or COVID-19 is sweeping across the globe, hitting more than 47 countries and 6 continents as of present day. Originating in Wuhan, China, the virus exploded throughout China during its busiest traveling season: Lunar New Year. Within weeks, the country was shut down and other countries began to prepare for the inevitable spread of the virus.
Today, the virus continues its aggressive warpath throughout countries, nations, and regions of the world. However, it is not only an ongoing health concern, but a problem that has the ability to decimate the global economy and serves as a weapon for racism towards the Asian community.
Before discussing the detrimental societal effects that the coronavirus has on communities, it is important to note the health concerns that the coronavirus poses for individuals. With many losing lives, seeking treatment in hospitals, and in isolation in their homes, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and public health officials have taken extreme measures in the wake of the growing epidemic to prevent the further spread. It is vital for us, as students, to wash our hands frequently, get the flu shot to strengthen the immune system, stay home when sick, and visit the doctor. This will protect ourselves and others to the best of our ability from the virus.
“Today, the virus continues its aggressive warpath throughout countries, nations, and regions of the world”
The mysterious nature of this new disease and easy ability to contract it, make it a particularly scary situation to deal with. What originated in Wuhan, China has exponentially spread and swiftly placed billions of people on high alert. Governments and their civilians were caught off guard and many are now rapidly mobilizing to prepare defenses to halt its path.
The coronavirus epidemic also poses a huge threat to the global economy and many national markets. First, many industrial companies house their factories in China for the cheap and easy production of goods, but with the severity of the virus in mainland China, many factories have halted work and productions, preventing the distribution and shipment of goods for businesses. This could have a detrimental impact on the consumer market because goods aren’t being transported to customers.
Second, China accounts for one fifth of the world’s tourism spending and with travel suspended, many businesses are suffering without the dependable Chinese tourist sales. While one-fifth seems like a relatively small number, in terms of an entire global economy, it is enough to send the entire market crumbling to the ground. Many critics wonder if the coronavirus is exposing the weakness of globalization and testing the human ability to handle an unprecedented economic situation.
Third, Asian restaurants and businesses have been suffering immensely due to the fear of eating in establishments that are racially associated with those who were first infected with the coronavirus. Combine these factors as well as others and the result is the stock market continually decreasing and the business world drowning.
“Coronavirus must NOT be associated with race and others must respect the gravity of this situation...”
Not only is the economy failing, but across the globe and in other countries, the coronavirus is promoting racism and social stigma towards the Asian community. As previously stated, restaurants and Asian businesses are in danger of economic peril due to their supposed “association” to the coronavirus. However, as a high school community, we can crush these assumptions by supporting local Asian businesses and preventing social stigma.
In addition, many Asians face racism in their daily lives because of wearing medical face masks and their association to the coronavirus. Asian Americans must also deal with others believing in their connection to the coronavirus because of their race and skin color which only causes stress and frustration for them.
As an Asian American, I feel strongly that the coronavirus must NOT be associated with race and others must respect the gravity of this situation; it should not be treated as a joke because the world is on the verge of a worldwide pandemic that has the potential to knock down fragile economies, take many lives, destroy weakening infrastructures in third world countries, and cripple the world as a whole.