Language differences spark fear amid the coronavirus pandemic


When the pandemic began in China in late December 2019 and as it began to spread across borders it also spread a lot of fear, racism, and hate.  Given its high rate of infection and death coupled with very little knowledge of the virus itself, people as a whole began to hate and resent those that were the supposed culprits of this whole mess.  This lends to high dis with high rates of infections, death, the Chinese became the focal point of blame and responsibility for what happening in the world, and everything and everyone associated with China or of Asian origin became the subject of hate, ridicule, and public shaming.

This of course, stems from great fear and the reinforcement of government leaders stating that this pandemic was to blame because of the Chinese and going as far as referring to it as the “Chinese virus” in international conferences and meetings.  This of course spurs rage to those that believe it but these incidences have not been just solely here in the US but globally.

This discrimination does not happen only by the perceived look but also how the person speaks and the language they speak.  Again this is nothing new however, when misinformation about the origin of the virus spreads it is sometimes worse than then spread of the virus itself it seems.  People have been denied entry to restaurants, and other public places because they are foreigners and perceived as ‘carrying the virus”


What do you learn from this behavior? Plenty.  Above all that informs yourself and do not let a lot of perceived and preconceived notions dictate your behavior.  It is your reality but is not necessarily true. Get informed and if you see behavior like this, please make a conscious effort to stop it.

In the world we live in today, these presuppositions are more prevalent than ever.  This  divisiveness  towards everything really, not just people of a different nationality or language but belief systems or even if you wear and not wear a mask  have been seen as “you are not one of us:” They  limiting and racial divides have always existed, I just have not seen them to such extremes.


I wrote a post last year on a similar subject and although at that time, we were not in a pandemic and the nerves and fears were not at the all-time high but the discrimination on what they speak, how they speak it and what they look like was and is always there.


The following article notes this, sometimes people’s accent and language difference that is the greatest form of discrimination because it automatically sets them apart as “strangers’ and foreigners’.  What is not often seen can be heard.  This of course is telling when we have a global pandemic and the accent or language is associated with either the country of origin or the highest rate of infection.

In conclusion then, this type of fear and discrimination will not probably end any time soon and although there is nothing new here, it has just been exacerbated by the pandemic.





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