The title may not have been clear, but this post is going to be about the perception of the coronavirus. I’m in high school as many of you know, where jokes about the coronavirus are widespread and people are ignorant. I can’t go a day without hearing problematic and insensitive jokes about the coronavirus. Not just jokes, but rumors and false information makes everything even worse. This post is going to discuss why I believe we all need to be more sensitive about the coronavirus and why we need to start taking it more seriously. More than that, the importance of staying aware and informed. I also included some more articles with more opinions and also the facts about the virus.
the severity of the coronavirus.First, let’s all agree that this is a very serious epidemic. It was declared a “public health emergency of international concern”, hence the title. I think a lot of people are forgetting how dangerous the coronavirus is and how scary it can be for family members with family in China or other places that have been affected.
why is it problematic to joke about? Jokes about the virus stem from a place of racism and insensitivity. Even if it’s just a bunch of teenagers trying to be funny, it’s adding to a larger problem. The ignorance is even spreading to our government (you know whom I’m talking about).
racism. Another problematic social effect of the coronavirus is the “justification” people believe they have to be racist to Asians or make racist jokes. The coronavirus doesn’t mean people get to be racist. People, not just in China, but also America, use the coronavirus as a reason to be openly racist to Asians. Telling jokes that highlight Asian culture or stereotypes just perpetuates the racism further. Even if you “don’t think you are racist” or have Asian friends, it’s still not acceptable to put micro-aggressions out into the world.
how does this create larger issues?Similar to what I said before, these jokes normalize and promote racism, they “justify” it. But it also has to do with a lot of the misinformation being spread and the growing sense of ignorance in the country.
I wanted to just put this message and my opinion out there because a lot of people are unaware of how problematic and thoughtless they can be about these jokes. We all could take more time to recognize the messages in the things, specifically the jokes, we say. While it may be funny to some people, it’s probably not funny to people with family in China or people facing consequential racism. I’m not Chinese or east Asian and I do recognize that I’m limited in that experience. I’d love to hear feedback in the comments or any of your opinions.
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