Asian American in the Time of Coronavirus
tw//death and violence
Last month, an Asian American family, including a two year old and a six year old, were stabbed in a Sam’s Club because they were thought to be carriers of the coronavirus. I remember reading the news and shaking it fear, realizing just how bad it was going to get from here on out.
It’s a little weird to be in a class about Asian Americans during a pandemic that people are so lovingly calling the “Chinese Virus”. How am I supposed to learn while the world is literally on fire? How am I supposed to function knowing my parents get attacked for being Asian at work? How am I supposed to function on finishing an assignment when so many people are dying?Don’t get me wrong, I love my class and am so grateful that my professors have been so understanding and kind, but I am one of the lucky ones. So many classes are trying to carry on like “business as usual” (not just at CC), but there is something that is just so ironic about the world expecting people to be “productive” right now.
However, even with the chaotic state of the world, there is something grounding about being in this class. On our first day, we talked about the metaphorical “war on the coronavirus”. War metaphors are fairly common; the war on drugs, war on poverty, and now the war on the coronavirus. Although the initial intentions behind these movements can be contested, they have all become wars that will disproportionately hurt those who are already vulnerable.
COVID-19 is no different. Instead of America focusing on preventing further spread of the virus and taking care of people, they have been focusing on who to blame. The coronavirus pandemic has made clear just how fragile America is, or better yet, how fragile the world is. Economies have fallen and people are dying, yet the the United States is worried about a “war” and refusing to give proper stimulus packages.
I know that staying informed during this time is important, but I want to kick and scream every time I open my phone. So in many ways, this class is a blessing and a curse.