The spread of COVID-19 has sent the world into a frenzy. But some people are using this as an excuse to be absolute jerks.
This virus that began in China has become a reason for people to be racists and discriminate against easterners.
India's inherent racism has become hard to overlook as instances of many north easterners being harassed has begun making headlines. No particular population 'caused' this virus, this much is obvious. However, the vilification, the stereotyping has gotten worse. What has turned us so bitter towards fellow Indians? How is it that even with this pandemic looming over us, we can do nothing but fight?
People are being asked to leave their homes, being tortured into hiding because of this racism. Women in a PG were being forced out of their house by the housing society for 'bringing corona to India' in Gujarat. In this lockdown, when everyone is looking for hope, how does this seem even human?
Thankfully, the Gujarat Police was quick to take action and protected them as the women sobbed.
On the other hand, in a shameful attack, a Manipuri girl living in New Delhi was spat on by passerby's as they called her 'Corona.'
But it's not just innocent women on the streets who are being targeted. Bollywood actor, Meiyang Chang was also harassed, on social media and in person.
I go for a jog every day near my house in Mumbai. The other day, two guys sped past me on a bike, screaming ‘corona’ and laughing. I wanted to scream back and hurl the choicest of gaalis, but I didn’t see any point in it. How do you punish people for their stupidity or ignorance? Over the years, I have become used to these comments and yes, they are hurtful. I try to move on and be optimistic, but it does affect you.
- Meiyang Chang
As a nation that prides itself because of its diversity and culture, we sure are falling down a malicious rabbit hole. The scare of this virus has just bought out the worse that Indians are capable of. The vindictive, xenophobic nature of these harassers is shameful.
Apart from these cases of racism, the stickers of quarantine have become another reason Indians are harassing each other. Stickers denoting that a house is under quarantine are being stuck on doors across the country.
Dear Citizens this thread is to inform you about the families who have been placed in quarantine in their own houses. If you see such stickers posted on any flat please do not panic these people are under quarantine inside their home and they are not the patients #Quarantine pic.twitter.com/fIUPOqzSk6— North DMC (@NorthDmc) March 24, 2020
This implies that there is someone in the house who has been advised self-quarantine or has returned from an affected country. This does not mean that the person is already COVID-19 positive. This is not a reason to isolate those in the house, instead, this is a chance to offer them help in the form of essentials.
However, staff members of Air India, who travelled across the world to bring Indians back safe and sound are being harassed because of this sticker. An Indigo crew member shared a video as well, where she spoke about how her mother was denied groceries. All because her daughter works in an industry where she is required to go to work even during this time of distress.
Desperate times indeed call for desperate measures. But those measures are kindness and endearment. Acting out by targeting others is in no way helping us come out this emergency stronger.