Will China be the safest place on earth in matter of weeks ?
Suddenly felt a cold shiver of scare in my spine last night while reading about the recent international developments on the corona virus outbreak.
Since last weekend, there is a ‘sudden’ increase and spread of coronavirus infections all over the world, especially reported from Iran, Korea, Japan and Europe. While China is reporting about 400 new cases today, Italy alone reported over 300 cases in the past couple of days.
While several nations in Europe (Germany, Holland, others) and South America are celebrating Carnival these days with millions of people gathering closely to party (perfect breeding grounds for the virus) while others are gathering on mountains for a nice skiing holidays with apres-ski parties, new cases are popping up in different EU countries.
Governments preach high alert but there does not seem too many drastic precaution measures taking place from within societies except for maybe country entrances (though the Venice Carnival was canceled).
Another question popped up in my mind was the very low or practically zero case reports from the 2nd or 3rd populous nations on earth; India and Indonesia. Looking at the many exchanges between these huge countries and China, these statistics are raising serious doubts. Also South American and most African nations have little to none cases reported.
Several media in the USA are already preparing people that the outbreak will seriously expand in the country during coming time.
However, the most alarming trigger of my cold shiver was a local news item from Holland about a female student from Chinese origin seriously beaten up by male students as she protested against anti-Chinese racist song which the students were singing in front of her. Or a Chinese elderly beaten up in a San Francisco neighborhood.
Also the violent panicking riots in the Ukraine against national evacuees from China are not a promising scene for handling a serious outbreak in the country.
These violent acts come along with thousands outcries on social media by China- or Asian-descendant people, born and/or living in Europe or the US, with regard to being racially harrassed on the streets.
These are not isolated incidents, many social and mainstream media are feeding racism, racial division and a strong bias against China for weeks now. Adding fuel to these racial sentiments is the increasing economic pressure in many industries and market segments all over the world through shortage or unavailability of supplies, raw materials and intermediates as the majority of Chinese industries are still being in quarantine, not being able to deliver.
If the virus will seriously continue to spread among Europe and other continents, I seriously worry with great fear about serious social unrest and violence in many countries around the world, especially racial against Chinese and other Asian people. This might be a bigger threat to the world’s future than the devastating economic impact.
While I am feeling safe and resilient with high appreciation for the drastic measures taken by the Chinese government and solidarity of people in battling the outbreak since weeks, the virus does unfortunately not respect borders and I greatly concern with scare about the next weeks in other countries, both for casualties as well as severe social unrest and racial violence which might last and have drastic impact on humanity and geopolitics.
Truly hoping that this scare is unfounded with drastic measures for containment being implemented with highest priorities and people all over the world staying, resilient and calm with mutual respect and solidarity. Collaboration and mutual support as one is needed by humanity more than ever.