Racism and the Pandemic


There have been multiple attacks and increased racism toward Asian Americans amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

With the virus originating in Wuhan, China, people have started to associate  COVID-19 with Asia, leading to a surge in hate crimes throughout the world. While the number of attacks seems vain in comparison to the death toll of the coronavirus, there is a possibility it will increase, according to federal authorities. 

In the city of Midland, Texas, an Asian American family of four were the victims of attempted murder at a Sam’s Club, an attack fueled by the belief that the family were carriers of the virus. The attacker was nineteen-year-old Jose L. Gomez, who was stopped by an employee and a customer when they saw the man attacking the family. When questioned by the authorities, Gomez confessed to attacking out of fear, believing the family were Chinese and had the coronavirus. Gomez was charged with hate crimes.  

New York City has also been witness to an increasing number of hate crimes. Another nineteen-year-old man, Nicholas Theodore, threatened an Asian man waiting at the subway, spitting on him and making a sudden movement as if to pull a gun from his pocket. The police charged Theodore with hate crimes and aggravated assault.

As of April 8, approximately 374,329 cases of COVID-19 have been reported in the United States alone, with over 12,064 deaths throughout every state. The state of Texas has an estimate of 7,276 cases, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Though a cure has not been found, social distancing should be practiced to prevent the virus from spreading any further. Washing your hands and wearing a mask and gloves when going outside can also help. 

As the world continues changing and adapting to the coronavirus, it is important that our values remain. Judging people by their race or ethnicity simply because the virus originated in an Asian country will not do any good in the fight against COVID-19; it will only make things worse. Instead of racist accusations and uninvited judgment, people must keep calm, follow safety guidelines, and come to realize that as the world journeys into uncharted territory, unity is our strongest ally.