Corona Threat Reveals Latent Wickedness


Jensen Rasmussen, Staff Writer

Less than 2 months after the report of the 1st case in Wuhan China, the Coronavirus has killed over 1,000 people. But, the novel virus is not the only thing spreading at an alarming rate: insensitive jokes, trivializing behavior, and xenophobia have multiplied just as quickly as this virus.

Flyers jokingly referring to mandatory genitalia inspections were posted in bathrooms at Campolindo. The crude signs stated that all male students and faculty must participate in a “compulsory” inspection in order to prevent the spread of Coronavirus. These posters, which credit “discoloration” as being linked to the disease, claimed that the “inspections” were an attempt to control the spread of the disease.

These absurd notices prey upon pandemic fear. While some found this gag amusing, the prank accomplished little beyond further discrediting the actual threat and fear associated with the disease.

According to The Los Angeles Times, millions in Wuhan are under lockdown due to the declaration of a global health emergency by the World Health Organization. The outbreak has caused widespread suffering, and death.  The situation is serious.

Unfortunately, this “penis inspections” prank is just 1 of many ill conceived reactions to the coronavirus. People of East Asian descent worldwide are facing racial discrimination and physical isolation.

With the threat of the disease, many people of Asian heritage have reported “multiple incidents of being racially discriminated and isolated at school, work, and other public places,” reports Business Insider.

The Los Angeles Times reported that a Filipino-American family was denied samples at Costco because an employee was worried that they could be infected by the virus. Similarly, the article said that Asian retail employees were asked to not touch merchandise; many have asked if it’s safe to dine at Chinese restaurants.

The lack of empathy demonstrated on our campus for this dire circumstance is disturbing.

I have witnessed my peers joking about the spread of the virus, shooting dirty looks at classmates when they cough or sneeze. The worst however, is when people are targeted with this contempt simply because of their particular culture or ethnicity.

Claiming that people of East Asian descent are “carriers of the disease” or “infectious” is equivalent of saying that those of European heritage carry the Black Plague. Anyone can see that this is a ridiculous proposition, yet many partake in isolating and discriminating against Asian people in the way they are reacting to the  coronavirus crisis.

“1 thing that is really sad is how [some] shame the cultural foods,” said sophomore Ashley Xu, citing the stereotype that Asian eat bats and dogs. “Because there’s so many people in China, I believe people who do that are a small percentage. Because of the stereotype, they’ve kind of put a blanket over all Asians.”

Latent racism and a lack of concern for other human beings has bubbled up on our campus in response to this health concern.

From inconsiderate jokes to blatantly racist comments, the coronavirus has exposed the xenophobia and wickedness that still exists in our society. We must remember that many have suffered and lost loved ones or their own lives as a result of this truly tragic event.