Answer Bank: Should I stay away from Chinese in COVID-19 outbreak?
By Gong Zhe

The novel coronavirus pneumonia, or COVID-19, is believed to originate from China's Wuhan.

Though the theory has yet to be proven, it has fueled hate and racism against the Chinese people outside the country.

There is a list of xenophobia and racism incidents related to COVID-19 on Wikipedia. We at CGTN Digital cannot guarantee all these incidents are real but it's still heartbreaking that the list is pages in length.

The racist's logic is simple like always: The virus is from China so Chinese are more likely to be carriers that will spread the virus in my own community.

But that logic is fragile. Not all Chinese are the current patients in Wuhan:

Your Chinese neighbor may have not been to China for years so it's impossible for them to be infected;

The virus can infect anyone. Being a Chinese will not increase the chance of infection – it turns out the coronavirus is not as racist as us;

Focusing on the Chinese will also weaken your guard against other potential carriers of the virus;

Your government has likely put up check points in airports to find possible COVID-19 patients. If some Chinese just entered your country, chances are they have gone through basic checking and your government believe they are okay;

In addition, the novel coronavirus is not so lethal like the plague. Mortality rate outside Hubei is a little over two percent, one of the lowest among epidemic diseases.

Moreover, we already have scientific methods to tell if a person, Chinese or not, is infected by this particular virus. Various brands of test kits have been manufactured and shipped across the world. And a simple CT scan can reveal a lot of clues. If you see a feverish Chinese, or such person from any other races, politely ask them to go to the hospital.

The fear of China can be natural during a time like now. But that's not a good excuse to participate in racism. It's obviously a better choice to learn more about the virus and get prepared for it, rather than blindly repelling all Chinese people in your sight. Knowledge is a cure for fear.