This morning I woke up and saw the Insta Story of a friend of mine, who is from Korea and she was really upset about about Coronavirus related racism. The last days I followed the news and media and additional to all the information about this new virus I also lerned that lots of Asian people experiencing racism these days, only because some people are afraid to get the Corona disease. Why is that so? Is there really so little information that so many people completely freak out and not only blame random Asians for this disease, but also insult them or even get agressive?
I am toally aware that the news try their best to inform us in a neutral way about this new disease, but somehow they do not get everyone's attention when the news are about self protection and correct safety issues. I am not an expert myself but I work for an ambulance and get in contact with lots of infectious diseases every single day. So I may know a little bit more about this topic than the avarage person and I will do my best to help you understand what is happening right now.
The probability of getting infected
Undoubtly Coronavirus first came up in the city of Wuhan an infected many Chinese people. But of course this does not mean that this disease comes up spontaneously in every Asian. There are about 1,4 billion people in China, a lot more people in whole Asia and even more people who look Asian but actually aren't. There are about 37.100 Cases of Coronavirus and 811 deaths, which isn't that much compared to the population.
Today we have about 14.000 Cases of Influenza only in Germany, most of them come from Bavaria. Influenza is way more likely to infect us than the Coronavirus but there is no racism agains people from Bavaria. Why? Because Influenza isn't a good story compared to whats happening in China right now. We also shouldn't forget that the Corona disease is new and we do not really know how the handle it yet. Obviously there are way more infectuous diseases here in Germany that could infect us every single day and we simply do not care at all! I mean have you ever applied desinfection on your hands after using a handcart at the grocery store? Me neither! Right now here in Germany people are more likely to get infected by multiresistent germs or everyday bacteria like E.Coli.
Are we all going to die?
Sure, but not because of Coronavirus! Every virus can kill a person under special circumstances. Elderly people, babies, toddlers, children, people with health issues or pre existing medical conditions are more likely to suffer from a viral infection than healthy adults. But this can be any virus at any time. The World Health Organization writes about Corona disease that it can "cause mild symptoms including a runny nose, sore throat, cough, and fever. It can be more severe for some persons and can lead to pneumonia or breathing difficulties. More rarely, the disease can be fatal".
This does not mean that you should not be careful, but in case you are not part of one of the metioned groups of people above you will probably survive a viral infection.
There are many other things you can do to protect yourself from a viral or bacterial infection, than blaming Asian people for it.
The first and most important thing to do is to wash your hands! So wash your hands after using public rooms, public transport or (I really shouldn't have to say that) the restroom. You can also buy some desinfectant and use it before and after washing your hands.
Coronavirus is transmitted by droplet infection, so just do everything you would also do to avoid getting a cold or a flu. So please mind coughing etiquette and get some space between people who are coughing, sneezing and have a fever. Here in Germany those people seeming ill are more likely to have a normal cold or a flu these days.
I saw several people waering a simple mouth mask, one of those thin white ones, to protect themselves. Let me tell you one thing: These masks do not protect you from inhaling viruses or bacteria, they protect other people from what you exhale. So in case you have a cold or a flu you can of course wear those masks, it is really nice for all the people around (even more in case you are really infectious with MRSA, MRGN, VRE etc).
I just hope that you all understand that racism is not the solution for the disease the world is facing right now. By panic and exclusion we make Corona disease bigger than it really is. We survied SARS, MERS, Ebola and Zika. Now we have a new virus and I am pretty sure that it will not whipe out humanity on earth. So stay strong, be kind and help others!