Public Health Experts Warn About A Dangerous Symptom Of Coronavirus: Xenophobia
“More panic, more temptation to blame the outsider — the other," says Robert Fullilove, a professor of sociomedical sciences at New York’s Columbia University Medical Center. Fullilove is among the experts who are warning that mass hysteria over the coronavirus could lend itself to bigotry and baseless fear.
As Coronavirus Spreads, So Does Concern Over Xenophobia
Amy Lee-Ludovicy was confused when she opened her email last week to find her children’s Mandarin class field trip had been canceled due to “safety concerns.” It wasn’t the typical low temperatures or an incoming snowstorm that had prompted school administrators to act, but a disease outbreak on the other side of the globe. In the email from Principal Marguerite Fusco of Warwick Valley High School in upstate New York, Lee-Ludovicy was told that her kids, who are in eighth and ninth grades, wouldn’t be headed to New York City’s Chinatown to celebrate the Lunar New Year as planned. The explanation was the recent coronavirus outbreak, which is believed to have originated in Wuhan, China, she told NBC News. (Shen-Berro and Yam, 1/29)
Fear In The Age Of Coronavirus: Chinese No Longer Welcome
Airlines halt flights from China. Schools in Europe uninvite exchange students. Restaurants in South Korea turn away Chinese customers. As a deadly virus spreads beyond China, governments, businesses and educational institutions are struggling to find the right response. Safeguarding public health is a priority. How to do that without stigmatizing the entire population of the country where the outbreak began -- and where nearly a fifth of all humans reside -- is the challenge. (Pfanner, 1/29)