Asian communities under heavy criticism after coronavirus outbreak

Cierra Quintana and Whitney Papalii

After further research, we have found that the Wuhuan Virus, also known as the coronavirus, was not caused by a bat delicacy as previously mentioned. The article that was published last week received its information from Forbes. We apologize for any misinformation and miscommunication. 


The first case of the flu-like virus was reported last year on Dec. 31. The Wuhan virus has since caused a global widespread panic. At a recent press conference, the Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the Wuhan Virus, or mostly known as the “Coronavirus,” to be a public health emergency.

UCSF Nurse Mark Wolfskill expressed how he pushed through a 12 hour shift this past Saturday because of people’s phobia of the virus “A lot of people from the ages of 12-60 were getting flu shots. I must of did over 200 shots on Saturday,” said Wolfskill.

Recent studies have shown that the coronavirus was first seen in Wuhan, China from a delicacy of bat eating. Since then more Asian communities are receiving racial slurs, and inappropriate comments. 

Many tweets on Twitter have revealed xenophobic and racist beliefs towards Chinese people regarding the coronavirus outbreak. It’s shocking and disgusting just how many people think something so racist can be “just a joke.”

Twitter users even started a “#ChineseDon’tComeToJapan” and “#Yellowalert” trend—the whole epidemic is disgusting. 

“No one knows what caused this [Coronavirus],” said Lena Zhang, Broadcast & Electronic Communication Arts professor at SF State. “So, we can not just directly link to certain nationalities and ethnic groups.”

Sadly, the racism that the Asian community is facing is nothing new. When the Ebola virus caught everyone’s attention in 2014, the African American community was under extreme criticism. Diseases are going to continue to spread and people are going to continue to get sick, that does not give anyone an excuse to start being racist.

Micheal Rubin who is a medical profession at Blue Shield Medical, posted on his personal account about the “rumors, and false information” about the coronavirus. 

“The misinformation about the coronavirus is more deadly than the virus itself which in fact is deadly,” said Rubin. “The common flu has more of a fatality rate and has hundred thousands confirmed deaths.” 

As the number of deaths increase and more cases regarding the Coronavirus are discovered around the world, I can’t help but think, is there an increase in racial prejudice and xenophobia that is connected to the virus? And if so, what is SF State doing on campus to maintain a safe zone for all students? 

Frederick Smith, Assistant Vice President of the Equity & Community Inclusion Division at SF State, says he has not received any reports on campus but assures that any incident of that nature will not be tolerated.

“It’s unfortunate that that many people will resort to basic stereotypes that are only based on a feeling and not on any knowledge,” said Smith. “I’m hoping and thinking that our campus values and the ways in which people bring themselves on campus are above that.”