As Coronavirus (still less deadly than flu) surpasses the death toll of the SARS viral outbreak, I wanted to share something I posted on Facebook recently, because I feel that it is important.
Please visit Chinatown, buy yourself some Chinese food, and support your local Chinese-owned businesses.
(Edit: Apparently there are also people declining Asian Uber drivers. Don’t.)
The media coverage and conversation surrounding Coronavirus has been couched in racism and xenophobia, even though livestock-transmitted diseases pop up all over the world. It’s just that when they pop up in Western countries we chalk it up to gaps in food regulation (witness mad cow, E coli, swine flu, and bird flu).
Maybe you’ve seen the video of a woman eating a bat that’s been circulating on social media. That video is from an island nation in Oceania, in 2016.
I don’t care how you feel about wildlife consumption/trading or even eating meat (I’m obviously not a big fan of either) but acting as though Coronavirus is deserved by it’s victims, by China, or by the Chinese is shameful. Using it as an excuse for feeding old stereotypes about Asians and “gross” meat consumption, for “othering” and avoiding Asians, is disgusting. And as the enforcement of US food and safety regulations continues to decline under our current president, it’s hypocritical.