As Coronavirus Spreads, So Does Anti-Chinese Sentiment

Fears of the outbreak have fueled xenophobia as a wave of panic spreads, sometimes outstripping practical concerns.

Comments: 251

  1. Chinese brothers and sisters are more than welcome in Pakistan ....this is foolish to treat them like this... what a shameful behavior by other countries I mean just take their temperature and if somebody is showing fever you can quarantine them but no need to be racist or hateful towards these hardworking Chinese people they are human beings just like all of us.... so I want to tell the Chinese people you are welcome in Pakistan anytime this is your second home we are decent Nation. I want and expect all Pakistani people to welcome any Foreigner especially Chinese who are good neighbors, if they are sick we will take care of you and treat you as best as we can we are Muslim and we are not racist towards anyone.

  2. @Syed I think you've missed the part where the virus can stay dormant for up to 14 days! It's nice that your country is welcoming the Chinese nonetheless, some spicy nihari or haleem will help the soul coz Pakistani food is godly good!

  3. From what I have read, it doesn't cut it to just take the temperature. A person can be a-febrile and carry the virus. In other words, they can go for several days with no fever or symptoms before becoming symptomatic.

  4. @Syed Thanks, Syed! I'm an American citizen but am of Chinese origin. For the readers, China and Pakistan have had a close relationship for many years. When I was a participating in a months-long medical exchange trip in China decades ago (representing the US), the whole floor below us in the medical student dorm housed Pakistani medical students training in China. One of the students came up and offered us free tickets to the local disco as she could not go. One of my good friends in residency was also from Pakistan, albeit she grew up around the world due to her dad's occupation.

  5. I’m no fan of the Chinese authoritarian regime but the country has gone to great lengths to get this virus under control and is cooperating with world health organizations in its effort. A display of knee jerk xenophobia against Chinese people in general is disgusting. What’s needed is to identify and isolate and treat carriers as quickly and efficiently as possible.

  6. @Lilly "Underlying power based on fear" " Xi crushes anyone who tells an inconvenient truth that could stand in the way of his determination to take over as the sole superpower of the world." "fear-based authoritarian country" This is the very xenophobia that is referenced in this article. The United States has a distinct interest in displaying the Chinese government as an enemy, and your sweeping statements about them lean into that exactly. Let me ask you, do you think that oil barons and their lobbyists in America that censored information about the demise of our planet for almost 100 years is as bad? What about the entire United States policing system, which has been shown time and time again to be corrupt and outright racist? Does the United States prison population being higher than the Chinese prison population paint the picture that America is an authoritarian country? I don't know everything about how China is run, but to say that the governments only concern is saving face as opposed to actually treating the virus is outright wrong, and a great representation of what is being talked about in this article.

  7. What is your evidence in making such claims? This is biased and irresponsible.

  8. @the doctor I thought there was a lot of criticism within China for the government's inept response to this major crisis?

  9. Go ahead and keep them out. Your economies will tank. Shoot your own feet.

  10. @Bo Lang Is that the bottom line here, the economy?

  11. @Bo Lang A chinese woman infected 5 colleagues in Germany because she came in for a 2 day training, and showed no symptoms. She exhibited symptoms when she returned to China and China responsibly informed Germany. I have business associates coming in from China to attend the LA Art Show at a convention center. They will have come in from a mega city in a plane full of Chinese people, coming into a major convention center with tens of thousands expected to attend with no quarantine period. Tell me - would you go to this show and mingle? Being prideful has no place in a time like this - Be sensitive to address real concerns- save your speech for the miracle of eternal economic growth for - never.

  12. @Orion it would be responsible for them not to risk exposing themselves and thousands others by cancelling the trip and not coming. I guess that is too much to ask.

  13. This problem has happened before and will happen again all over the world. The last deadly 1918 Spanish Influenza killed between 50 and 100 million people, and it was an H1N1 type of virus. The same virus that was also behind the 2009 Swine flu outbreak. with the 2009 outbreak killing about 575,400 people .

  14. Every year the common flu kills over 600,000 worldwide, and nobody really notices.

  15. @Dan Stackhouse 10,000 deaths –In USA in 2009 but 80% of them for those under 50 which is the opposite of normal flu seasons.

  16. In an article elsewhere today it was noted that two Japanese being repatriated from Wuhan to Japan refused to be tested for the new coronavirus and were admitted without being quarantined. Apparently such refusal is permitted under Japanese law, though I would have thought such a law could be suspended for the duration of the coronavirus epidemic (or at least quarantine allowed). I certainly do not want to see the Japanese experience an epidemic, but if they aren’t careful they may be creating grounds for anti-Japanese sentiment along the lines of the anti-Chinese feelings discussed in this article.

  17. Ignorance, use of sentiment downplays the racism that is underlining these behaviors. Any Flu outbreak is as dangerous as this particular one, once the vaccine is found to be effective all the noise will go away, it is also the duty of journalist to keep people informed of what is rather than trumpet just the side effect of any outbreak especially if the source is not from our zones

  18. @Emmanuel What other flu outbreak caused 50 million or more people to be quarantined? And since that was imposed by China on Chinese, racism is where?

  19. There is genuine primeval fear of death from virus which has no known cure .Chinese government steps of quarantine large population of 40 million also contributes to the fear. This is also compounded by long standing racism against Chinese expatriate communities in East Asia like Malayasia,Indonesia and Phillipines .The countries where the Chinese exercise influential control over financial systems.

  20. @Azad I think the Chinese are anti-Chinese because of how they've responded against millions of Chinese.

  21. @David How Hong Kong and Taiwan acted don’t count as both area have a recent spike in anti-China sentiment. Taiwan enacted regulations 2 days ago to bar shipments of surgical masks to mainland China and that shouldn’t be taken as representative of Chinese selfishness either. When politics comes into play morality and logic goes out the window.

  22. "Everyone may get sick, so please don't isolate Chinese and anyone who is connected to China. You cannot discriminate against the patients, because this behavior will make those patients ashamed of themselves, so as to hide the illness, and reject to protect others. We are against the virus, not the Chinese. The more emergency arise, the more need for calm, humanity, unity" Cited from an anonymous letter

  23. It’s always the very worst that exemplifies the absolute best in us. The government of a China could actually try and learn from this second major outbreak and institute public Health on a national level that works. A public health department as strong and influential as their Ministry of Public Security. Unfortunately they will need to curb the vast corruption that plagues local governments.

  24. @Alan F One of the ironies of the corruption crack-down in China spear-headed by the current regime is that local governments are fearful of being swept up in the campaign. This is leading to bureaucratic paralysis and a fear of being the bearer of bad news. Our org operates in China and we've noticed a change in the decisiveness of local government. This may in part be why Wuhan was slow to react.

  25. @Alan F You are completely clueless in your comment here. Setting aside the point that it has not been absolutely proven where the source of this coronavirus began..... FACT: while China continues to allow many traditional food distribution methods of pre-2000, like local food markets.... they also largely drive their food distribution and consumption in large urban cities through world class western style grocery chains, and apply stringent health standards accordingly. The local live food markets are a tradition in China, AND MANY other nations as well.. and while they do present a possible vector for disease.... they generally do not actually propagate disease. You can go to any Asian grocery store in a major US city and pick your live seafood from a tank, and the staff will kill it, cook it, and package it for you right there while you wait. Even though the sources of the seafood are unknown in many cases, and it is not know if they are disease free. Stop pushing ignorance.

  26. It’s pretty impressive to see an article about casual racism towards Chinese and many of the comments casually telling the Chinese what to eat and that they’re apparently backwards for having different culinary tastes developed over thousands of years. Could improvements on hygiene be made in these markets? Absolutely. But just because they eat something different than you doesn’t mean they’re “threatening the world with viruses”. America is one of the top consumers of pork in the world, pigs are by far one of the most dangerous virus carriers that could spread something to humans, but no one labels us as a viral threat. Not because we don’t eat this meat or that meat, but because of hygiene standards at the point of sale. So maybe before you knock an entire culture because they don’t eat what you want them to, dig a little deeper to get to the root cause.

  27. I agree that the differentiator is ultimately food preparation and not the food itself (i.e. pork). But the larger issue is the so-called ‘xenophobia’ mentioned here. Yes I believe there is a natural reaction in countries where the food safety regulation and supply chain is rigorously enforced, which highly correlate to so-called ‘developed’ countries, against a country and culture that does not value this to the same degree. Twice in a generation now China has put world health at risk by not regulating their food supply and then suppressing evidence of an outbreak. I would not call this reaction xenophobia. It is a rational reaction that comes from a persistent cultural and political divide that cuts to the core of what is valued in a society. Is why is it very disturbing that the US govt continues to reduce the number of USDA inspectors and simultaneously challenge the credibility of scientists and a free press. If we are going to call for countries like China to improve their safety and regulations we cannot be simultaneously dismantling our own.

  28. @John When there is a swine flu epidemic, I'm pretty sure we react against it, just like mad cow, or killer romaine lettuce.

  29. @John And yet the pork disease that was only knocked off front pages because of this disease originated in China. No one should eat pork, actually, but China consumes more pork than any other country.

  30. As an Asian-Anerican I have certainly wondered whether people are now looking at me differently because of the viral outbreak, though Trump and his base had already been flaming anti-nonwhite sentiment. It does not help when Chinese nationals have just been arrested trying to steal American technologies (so much for that recently signed ‘trade deal’ with China!) Fortunately I live in a very liberal state, but I find myself now trying to make sure that I am seen as American who has nothing to do with China. (In fact, I had been afraid to go there because of the total surveillance before this crisis - surveillance that is, ironically, not so total)

  31. @Lynn in DC and yet those same people haven't bothered to get a flu shot during the height of flu season, and haven't bothered to learn that the disease itself can be so mild as to be without obvious symptoms! That's where the fear is not of dying but of one's own inner perceptions about "those people" and "that place".

  32. I agree with you that perceptions have changed. I’m Chinese American, too. Today when I was asked by a TSA agent at the Salt Lake City airport for a domestic flight whether I spoke Chinese, I was taken aback. Was this polite curiosity or would I have been taken to a back room if I had answered yes? I’ll never know, but my answer was truthful: no., I do not.

  33. Am I the only one bothered by claims by other readers that the diet and culture of the Chinese population is ‘disgusting’? This is an entirely subjective evaluation. What makes the food consumed in Western societies superior? There are numerous example of cuisine and foods that may be viewed by non-Westerns as questionable. I think the easy attempt to vilify another society overlooks other realities that are somewhat out of our control: zoonoses has existed for millennia. With the increase in human populations, it is more likely for diseases to jump from species to species.

  34. @CJ Agree completely. People say that the Chinese cuisine is gross while stuffing themselves with over processed foods that are terrible for your health. So much of the anger towards China is flagrant racism from peoples of countries that have vested interests in China not being successful.

  35. @CJ Absolutely! I was very disappointed to see typical stereotypes and misunderstandings in the comments. Plus, the Standard American Diet has probably contributed to more disease in its spread around the globe, and there is much to admire in the Chinese diet. (e..g., The average Chinese person eats twice as many vegetables as the average American, and dessert is usually fruit or beans.)

  36. @CJ What do you mean, that pink slime McDonald's serves is anything but disgusting - and healthful too! But seriously, eating endangered species like pangolins is not cool, and should be addressed, without of course vilifying an entire population.

  37. My sympathies with the Chinese people. Nobody understands hatred and xenophobia more then the Muslim people when the entire community gets stigmatized for the sin of a few. I hope the Chinese people will have better understanding and sympathize with the current brutality in xinjiang by Chinese government where the entire Muslim community is living in a prison and the genocide in Burma by Chinese supported Burmese military.

  38. @Nadim true words! China has been subjugating Uighurs for decades now! A little sympathy goes a long way!

  39. Funny all these anti-Chinese sentiment come from all Democratic places or places that are anti-China no-matter-what to begin with. The corona-virus is just a convenient excuse to raise their ugly heads. "We only serve people speak English and Cantonese". Please, you still want me to believe that you have been fighting for freedom, democracy and human Rights?

  40. @Dan Absolutely, 100% agree

  41. @M. Paire You're making an unequal comparison between some people in Hong Kong and the Chinese government, which has never pretended to be a champion of democracy and human rights

  42. @Dan And the assumption that people who speak English and Cantonese couldn't have the virus is quite preposterous!

  43. This article is total over-reaction and exaggeration. The Toronto “example” says absolutely nothing about anti-Chinese sentiment.

  44. Would be interesting to know if you are speaking from your personal experience of being of Chinese ancestry (or someone who could be mistaken for someone of Chinese ancestry).

  45. How come the so-called xenophobia only appears in other Asian countries, barring a very brief mention of Canada? What about Chinese rejecting each other?

  46. @Thumbo Xenophobia literally refers to disliking people from other countries. Also, while the article only mentions these places, there is no doubt a large amount of xenophobia / sinophobia in America as well over this incident

  47. @Thumbo Yes, in the Seattle area, it was the Chinese groups that called off their New Years festival. I guess the Chinese are xenophobic against Chinese.

  48. This world wide extreme attention and alarm to this threat is great practice for when the catastrophic effects from climate change finally hits home for most of earth’s inhabitants.

  49. The Xenophobic undercurrent is always permeating in South Korea, and this time it is just out in the open. Even its laws are against foreigners living there, maybe Chinese in particular. But South Koreans (at least some) are even discriminating North Koreans, and Koreans minorities living in China. My advice is Chinese should limit their travel at this moment of crisis and hysteria out of China. And some diversity training for South Korean might do them good.

  50. I wonder how North Korea is affected given their close contact with China.

  51. Likely very little affected, very few Chinese people go to North Korea, and North Koreans are generally not allowed to leave.

  52. While Chinese media is reporting cases on how other countries, especially Japan, are supporting China and Chinese people in fighting the disease, NYT decided to report extreme and uncommon cases of discrimination, and pretended to have a fair stand by framing it as fear. I’m deeply disappointed by this decision, and concerned about the impact of this biased view on normal people. Shame on NYT

  53. @Lou the factual reality is that this fear is real for every common man in every country now.

  54. I hope the administration is making sure that pharmaceutical companies are on alert -since the majority of our drugs are manufactured outside the USA -and the majority in China. That alone is alarming!!!

  55. The Chinese government is simply not trustworthy when it comes to reporting on themselves. They have 7,000+ laboratory confirmed cases and 130+ confirmed deaths. What they don’t report is the approximate number of infections population wide. These are probably younger, healthier people who don’t want to fool with going to the doctor unless their condition turns grave. We actually have no idea how widespread this virus is or the percentage of people who are just having a bad flu and recovering.

  56. @Adrienne The vast majority of infected people in Wuhan are being turned away from medical facilities. China simply is overwhelmed and cannot deal with so many sick people. The amount of people who are infected is infinitely larger than the numbers being reported

  57. I am certainly not anti-Chinese, but I would plead with them to outlaw wild animal street markets to prevent these types of viruses being passed on to humans.

  58. @Sue Yes, immediately if not faster!

  59. @Sue true that, why is there even a need for such markets to eat those poor animals? Humans in china can very survive and thrive on simplistic food. Give the animals a break!

  60. @Sue exactly. If China wants to be part of the global community in terms of economics and travel, it must lower risks that have lead to it twice being the epicenter for virus outbreaks that impact the globe. It seems a pragmatic and obvious thing to permanently outlaw eating wild animals and these street markets.

  61. Fear of the unknown is a very human emotion. Right now, we know very little about this new disease, so it is scary. Hundreds of thousands still die every year from diseases like malaria, tuberculosis, dengue and others. But they are old enemies and we know them well. How easily can this virus spread? We don't know. Can apparently healthy people infect others? We don't know, but initial reports suggest that it is possible. How widely has it already spread? We don't know. The reported numbers of infected and dead are only a fraction of the true numbers, because no country is routinely testing everyone with a fever and cough. How lethal is it? We don't know yet, but will find out soon. Initial estimates suggest a mortality rate of 2 to 3 %. How many people are going to get this virus? We don't know. How many are going to die from it? We don't know. Could be hundreds, could be millions. When faced with the unknown, it is better to assume the worst and take every possible precaution, until you get enough hard data to take more informed decisions. International tourism is not a basic human right. Money is of no use to you if you and your family are dead. Viruses don't care how politically correct or non discriminatory you are.

  62. @A Cynic Great commentary!!!!

  63. “Assume the worst” is the same sentiment used to justify slavery and the holocaust. Assume the worst when it comes to human beings and their families is the worst thing you can do. We need to help those who are affected, not reject them.

  64. It is amazing and concerning how close to surface xenophobia is in most countries of the world. The near future we all have to work together to deal with global warming and the massive migrations it will cause.Sadly, the Wilbur Mills of the world will miss the part about cooperation.

  65. It is true that parents in a suburb in Toronto are demanding children returning from China be kept out of of school for 17 days. What the article does not mention is that a majority of those parents are Chinese! It seems then higher ups are trying to make this about race, but is about safety. They are asking any child who has just visited China, not only the Chinese ones to avoid school as to not spread this virus. Common sense people.

  66. @Jeff R The article makes a reasonable effort to distinguish between safety based responses and bigoted ones. In the preceding sentences it mentions Hong Kongers (who are ethnically Chinese) banning mainlanders. There’s probably plenty of left-wing articles out there just looking for knee-jerk responses. I don’t think this is one of them.

  67. The reaction is to some extent similar to when AIDS began making headlines and killing hundreds. At the start, many people in Manhattan were terrified: we didn’t know exactly how it was transmitted. The attitude transformed into massive one-on-one help and support when thousands became infected and the CDC reported it could not be transmitted through the air. The US banned also HIV people from entering the country. That this coronavirus and others like it might be airborne. Well, that’s a whole new ballgame.

  68. Maybe there would be less fear-driven bigotry if there were more education about the roots of epidemics. In the case of the Coronavirus, it’s about animal-to-human transmission of a virus human bodies can’t handle. The same was true of SARS. Why the transmission? Cruel live animal markets. Why does this continue in China and elsewhere? Also, how is Climate Change and despoliation of the natural world opening the door to new viruses? Yes, this has all be reported. But keep reporting it. Teach people.

  69. @Harry My belief is that the bigotry already exists and just needs a convenient event to express itself or often times people on power and influence using that to stir the pot. Totally agree with teaching but learning to intercept the emotional response is far trickier than just giving them some new facts. Emotions are primary, thinking is secondary so that requires people to actually have some reflection skills.

  70. @Harry... you cited on your comment that the coronavirus can be transmitted "...from animal-to-human..." I think that it's a week assessment in the sense that we don't Have a clear understanding of what's going on. I just read in one of the major newspapers that the coronavirus can be transmitted from person-to-person!!! for all we know, China is not telling us the whole story. Furthermore, I don't understand why racism should be even mentioned as people fear for their lives. it is of human nature to be paranoid when we feel that our health is threathen by some deadly virus!!!

  71. @Harry But now it's about the fact that the virus is being transmitted human-to-human. Of course people are worried.

  72. So China is more than just "Chinese, more than just an ethnicity. It is also a sophisticated and mature TOTALITARIAN police state. If I want to protect the world, or even just my little corner of it, from an organization that not only has killed millions, but is presently imprisoning entirely populations, that does not make me xenophobic, it makes me a reasonable human being that believes in democracy and freedom and the value of individuals.

  73. @Andrew So Andrew is more than just "a Bostonian, more than just an individual. He is also a sophisticated and mature STEREOTYPING device. If I want to protect the world, or even just my little corner of it, from an individual that not only has invalidated millions for their ethnicity, but is presently mistaking entire groups of enlightened Chinese as agents of the government, that does not make me a mocker, it makes me a reasonable human being that believes in democracy and freedom and the VALUE OF INDIVIDUALS.

  74. In NYC there is no anti Chinese sentiment. The areas where there is discrimination always have discrimination in their history and these discriminatory individuals and groups always see these times of hardship as a chance to be racist and remember when the English were in China before independence they had signs that said no digs and Chinese in Parks. Racism always exists. Move away from racism and help each other fight disease .

  75. @Ralph Petrillo speaking of NYC, go down to Chinatown and take a look around the food markets and they’ll be no surprise why food borne illness routinely pop up in China. There appears to be no regard for food safety.

  76. The facts in the story hardly coincide with the title of the story. Anti-everybody else sentiment seems to be a human condition more than specific to this situation.

  77. Local Chinese people are also avoiding those who may have visited China recently, and places where many Chinese gather. So a clear distinction should be made between caution and outright rascism. Based on this article, France and many Asian countries showed the most rascist behavior.

  78. I do not think there would be this many cases of xenophobia if China were more culturally open and shared the same level of transparency as Western democracies. People, rightfully, doubt the communist party’s communication and they don’t know much about China or even Asia for that matter...

  79. @Guillaume So by your logic, is the freedom of individuals to do their own research on China by individuals outside of China is limited by the communist government?

  80. I think it’s naive to condemn Chinese xenophobia without explaining the why people are skeptical of China. During the SARS epidemic, the Chinese government was slow to respond and initially tried to cover it up. Even at the start of the current epidemic, the Chinese government punished 8 people for discussing the virus on social media. The government seems to be generally responding better this time, but China lies constantly. A lot of the blame for the xenophobia against Chinese tourists lies with the Chinese government. Adopt Western levels of openness and accountability. Then maybe other countries won’t be constantly questioning if they can trust China.

  81. @Jacob What does western accountability look like to you? Is it how we have condemned and prosecuted the executives of oil and gas companies that lied to us for over 50 years about climate change, something that threatens millions and millions of lives across many generations?

  82. Not anti-Chinese, rather anti-authoritarian sentiment. There's a difference.

  83. @Jon Q I believe the condemnation of an entire culture's food and calling it dirty that I have seen frequently on American websites has nothing to do with the government, and everything to do with an anti-Chinese racist sentiment.

  84. Unlike anti-Chinese sentiment in the West, which is perhaps mainly driven by racial and fear of a dominant China economically and militarily, the anti-Chinese sentiment in many SE Asian countries mostly is a result of recently Chinese tourists flooding into these countries. As I have traveled extensively in the region, most of complaints from local people is about the attitudes and behaviors of Chinese tourists. It reinforces the unfavorable stereotyping of Chinese. Western tourists and locals tend to avoid establishments catering to Chinese tourists. The Coronavirus should be a lesson and wake up call to Chinese traveling aboard.

  85. All flights in and out of China should have been grounded days ago... it's time to stop worrying about the "perception" of preventative measures and start taking the risk of epidemic seriously.

  86. Well, seriously, there is no real risk from this coronavirus at all. It's killed a handful of people, and has less than a 3% fatality rate, mainly among elderly people with existing health problems. As opposed to the flu, which kills over 600,000 people every year, worldwide. So despite all the breathless hype, this is not important.

  87. In the US, they'd claim racism, but now it's just xenophobia because other Asians are equally unhappy to have Chinese people around. Is it really xenophobia, or fear of catching a deadly, fast spreading disease with China as the epicenter?

  88. I don’t think it’s fair to direct ire at Chinese people, but to the Chinese Communist Party? I’m all for it. It’s no surprise that a regime that maniacally pushes censorship and propaganda is charge of the country that saw this outbreak. On this morning’s episode of The Daily, the Beijing reporter talked about how at the hospital in Wuhan, doctors refused to test a woman who died of what may have been coronavirus. Only a culture for censorship and against transparency, even when it puts human lives at risk, could have prompted such behavior from medical health professionals, who are generally trained to put health concerns first.

  89. I realized I should also have mentioned that I'm Asian-American. And, maybe more to the point, Korean American, which, seeing the contrast between North and South Korea, makes me highly aware of the pros and cons of democratic counties with free presses and Communist countries run on censorship and propaganda.

  90. @L I agree that the chinese government is to blame to some extent. But in the real world, how do want the people of other countries to distinguish that? How do you expect those who hold xenophobic feelings toward Chinese to know the difference? Bias and xenophobia know no rationality.

  91. @LBob This is easy. Treat people you meet on the street who are Chinese or look Chinese like you would anybody else. And then in any way you can, like on a forum like this one, criticize the Chinese government for not allowing a free press and censoring negative information and pushing propaganda, at the expense of everyday people’s health and now the world’s health. Donate to organizations like the Human Rights Foundation or others pushing for change in China, and don’t support and instead publicly criticize American businesses who cave to the Chinese censors, like the NBA and then Activision Blizzard did. Now that China has some economic power, we cannot let the CCP’s censorship tentacles reach outside China’s borders.

  92. Canada is mentioned but not the USA which is interesting. If the virus spreads here and there are many sufferers, I wonder how the president and his base will react politically?

  93. He will divert more defense $$ to build a really big wall.

  94. @Alex - Advise Trump that the virus is transmittable via Twitter and watch his head explode

  95. I was just at a car repair center this morning where an elderly white woman asked me if I were from Wuhan, China. More than a bit annoyed with the obvious racial profiling, I told her that indeed I just arrived in Los Angeles from Wuhan and came directly to the repair center. More than a few people were staring at us with a combination of anxiety and amusement. The woman laughed, apologized, and said that she herself is a second-generation Armenian who grew up on stories of anti-Armenian discrimination. I said something to the effect that gallows humor might be one of the things we need to get through this crisis. Some people in the room chuckled, others seem not so amused. On reflection, I wondered how things would have been if I couldn't speak English, and had I really recently arrived from central China, or if the elderly woman screamed in horror and ran out of the shop. In this time of anxiety, we would be advised to learn the lessons from "The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street" episode of the Twilight Zone: ...the tools of conquests are not bombs and explosions, they are attitudes and prejudices in minds of people.

  96. I’m glad she apologized, but seriously?! Have these people never met an Asian American before? It reminds me of my Jewish aunt; her freshman year roommate literally asked why she didn’t have any horns.

  97. @Chris Pining You would be quite surprised to find out how many Americans have never met an Asian in real life.

  98. The Toronto related cases that I’ve read about appear to be based on well founded caution and could apply to anyone who’s recently travelled to China regardless of ethnicity. The community as a whole is highly respected, successful and well integrated into Canadian society. It’s my wife’s birthday this Saturday and we’re going out for Chinese. The toughest decision is choosing a restaurant; there are so many great ones.

  99. @Timothy I'm not a racist because I go to eat "Chinese" food during this tragic time where the healthcare infrastructure and the government are fully capable to provide proper care for people if they are affected in Canada comparing to the people suffering in China. So during this time, I want to talk about myself. It's my wife's birthday, and it's such an important and tough choice we made. There are so many great restaurants out there, and those Chinese people should really thank you for choosing them and giving them business. You are such a lifesaver! What a great thing you did for humanity, and you really deserve a medal. Don't you, Timothy?

  100. Nicholas Kristof posted an opinion piece today that is essentially xenophobic toward China.. just focused on China leadership (dictatorship was his term) in a political diatribe that is classic Anti-China. The NYTs regularly posts anti-China articles and opinions.. and regardless of their intention and narrative.. what they do is draw out a lot of very clear xenophobia by NYT comment posters. My point? NYT is the glass house here and has no business casting stones about xenophobia. China... by virtue of hard earned experience with prior coronavirus outbreaks.. has handled this current crisis very well... as have it's people. This is not my personal perspective, but the perspective of virtually ALL world health organizations. But you know what.... xenophobia in human beings is never far... and only needs virtually any alleged trigger to pull it up to the surface. Then again... Americans are like this in so many ways internally American against American too... so it goes to the selfish, hateful, and tribal characteristics of human nature.

  101. @Chuck being against the horrible leadership of China is not being anti-China. Xi Jinping is an awful dictator and the world would be better if he and all his communist pals were brought low by the Chinese people.

  102. @Chuck , How's calling Chinese Leadership a 'dictatorship' xenophobic? Xi declared himself a lifetime leader, was never elected, and any credible opposing political figure is already arrested on 'corruption' charges. Should Kristoff have called this leadership "Uncle Xi's benevolent friendship circle" instead?

  103. Much much more worrying to me, is that the Nytimes also would buy into this politically correct misreading of warranted fear, stoked by the lack of all governments taking simple quarantine measures at a time when this could have been contained. At the Uni of Arizona the students are petitioning for quarantine!

  104. @scientella , I think you are mischaracterizing what the NYT published fear. The article clearly is distinguishing between warranted fear and unwarranted race based fears. I don't think they could have made it more clear. And you write "At the Uni of Arizona the students are petitioning for quarantine!". Well, that's nice. It might mean something to me if the petitioners are all epidemiology graduate students. Otherwise I find that to be pretty meaningless.

  105. I have yet to hear an actual expert on this virus call for travel restrictions. In fact, the World Health Organization states that it “ advises against the application of any restrictions of international traffic.” I don’t know the extent to which xenophobia is involved, but people are overreacting. This new disease will almost certainly kill fewer people than the normal seasonal flu or the 2009 swine flu that originated in Mexico and killed 12,000 Americans yet did not lead to a travel ban on Mexicans.

  106. @The Eyewitness Um, yes, yes those villages are. They are xenophobic and likely racist. The walls are due to a poor understanding of this virus's transmission and dangers. But the people in those villages are very likely racists.

  107. @The Eyewitness China overreacts to everything. That’s why they have a million Uighurs in detention over a couple of terrorist incidents. Educated people in the free world with a free press should not engage in the same panic-mongering.

  108. Let's be realistic, most of the exotic wildlife trade is in China and it is for personal consumption. In most of the development world such practices are taboo. In the age of YouTube, the filthy conditions of these wildlife are shown to the world for what they are. I can not condone such practice. Does that make me a racist?

  109. @Pepperman It makes you a racist to declare China as "underdeveloped" and "filthy". Mad Cow disease started in England. The 2009 Swine Flu started in North America. America has semi frequent E. Coli outbreaks on produce. Even living conditions for animals that are slaughtered in America are horrifying. Your local burger place probably cleans up just a little bit more when the health inspector comes around. Just because it is different from what you are used to does not make it inferior, which is the essence of racism.

  110. @Pepperman No, because I assume you would object to wild life trade regardless of which nation or nationality was responsible. And I also agree that it's an extraordinary cruel and destructive practice that is endangering animals right across the planet. And to make things even worse the practice provides perfect conditions for viruses to jump from animals to humans. This trade should not be allowed to start up again - it's Russian roulette on a global scale.

  111. Is anyone one sending aid to China? We are all in this together.

  112. Yeah, well no one mentioned the hygiene involved in keeping a live wild animal market about three blocks from the main Wuhan Train station. Don't need to be a genius etc. esp since not all these animals were meant as "pets".

  113. The Coronavirus is already starting to spread here in the US. The wife of the man who brought it here from Wuhan is now hospitalized with it. No one can tell how far this epidemic will spread and how many people will die. This is a far more important consideration than hysteria about "xenophobia" because some people can't get their nails done.

  114. @Jack How about this for a measure - making their people aware that just because something has a pulse doesn't mean it is edible

  115. It is not racist or xenophobic to want to temporarily halt all flights to and from the source of an emerging pandemic. Such a move is simply prudent for public health and should be taken immediately.

  116. @CP Should the world have cut off all flights to and from the US when Swine flu originated in North America a decade ago?

  117. Winter break returning N.Y.U. student hesitant, even refusing regarding sitting next to Chinese International student xenophobic or prudent?

  118. Xenophobic. Basically no chance that the Chinese student has been to Wuhan and infected with this particular virus within the last two weeks.

  119. @Sean Xenophobia, and their irrational reaction to a disease doesn't make it less so.

  120. @Sean Xenophobic. If you are that scared of contracting the disease, take other measures. The airport itself is full of tens of thousands of travelers that could transmit the disease to you too. Maybe avoid that altogether?

  121. The number of comments here defending these xenophobic policies/practices, or finding a convenient excuse for them, proves the point of the article. Using the same logic of "fear for safety" or whatnot, we could also justify other racist policies like stop and frisk, the Muslim ban, Trump's Wall, and others.

  122. @Tek I agree with you wholeheartedly. So many of these comments are outright xenophobic in nature and it completely flies by the commentors that they are perpetuating this despite the article right in front of their face putting light on the subject.

  123. @Tek Right now we don't have a thorough understanding of the Wuhan virus. With this in mind, I don't think it's fair to equate fear of the Wuhan virus with the fear of immigrants and Muslims. The fear of immigrants and Muslims is largely unsubstantiated, and the statistics don't support such paranoia. However, Wuhan virus statistics and percentages are still rising or fluctuating. It's only natural to fear something that we don't yet have a complete understanding of.

  124. 2019-NCoV. We seek appropriateness. It is not the "Chinese virus". This crude mode of communication favors the spread of xenophobia, which is also ,intrinsically,contagious. I would just like to note that Mrs. Tu Youyou, citizen of the People's Republic of China, won the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 2015, helping to save millions of lives from malaria. In the South of the Word.

  125. I think people turn to racism and stereotyping at times like these because they think it gives them some control over the actual threat. People label the coronavirus as a Chinese thing, thus if they avoid Chinese people entirely, they will be safe from the virus. Of course, this isn't true in both directions, plenty of Chinese people have no possibility of transmitting this virus, and plenty of non-Chinese people have contracted it and can spread it. It's unfortunate, but this is something humans seem hard-wired to do, find differences with other humans and then discriminate against groups they consider to be different. The most ridiculous thing in this case is that the coronavirus is nowhere near as deadly or as widespread as the common flu. The flu is worldwide, can be spread by anyone, and kills over 600,000 people every year. But since we're so used to it, it doesn't seem to have sunk in with anybody that this coronavirus is no threat at all compared to a virus we've always dealt with.

  126. @Dan Stackhouse Yes, this epidemic could have come from anywhere. Last year, a measles epidemic started in Oregon and measles is more infectious than the flu among unvaccinated people. The 2009 swine flu epidemic originated in Mexico and killed hundreds of thousands of people all around the world, far more than SARS or this virus. It lasted a few months, then petered out, and the World Health Organization acknowledged that it overreacted. We didn’t ban travel from Mexico, and businesses didn’t refuse to serve Mexicans. So my question is—if this same disease started in Oregon or even Mexico, would people be reacting the same way? I think not.

  127. We're all going to hear much more about the mysterious coronavirus over the coming days and weeks. Let's hope the authorities and medical professionals the world over work together to contain and eliminate it as soon as possible. Moving forward, can we agree, as members of the homo sapiens family, not to eat bats and snakes, and the like -- no, I'm not being xenophobic -- unless stuck in the wild and facing a life-or-death situation?

  128. @Mark F We might want to stop eating pigs and poultry first, since that's where influenza originates, and the flu kills a quarter to half a million people every year.

  129. Why bats and snakes but not pork (swine flu)? I'm not an expert virologist by any means, but my understanding is that the main issue is hygienic standards of animals in general in markets, rather than the specific type of animal being bought and sold. Honestly, if I had to eat either a pig or a snake in the wild whilst taking into consideration the possibility of infection, I would choose snake anyday.

  130. The Chinese certainly don’t deserve abuse for this virus, but it might make sense to steer clear given the nature of the virus. Still, there is a parallel in what the Chinese have done to countries such as Cambodia, where they chewed up a charming beach town to build Chinese-only casinos, employing Chinese workers, and sending that revenue to Beijing rather than building the economy of the country they are colonizing. A common phrase there: The Chinese are coming! does not mean anything good. One can probably imagine the Cambodians gloating over the irony.

  131. @Ship Ahoy Yeah, I think if they played nice with their neighbors, there'd be more sympathy.

  132. @Ship Ahoy the chinese could start by not consuming everything with a pulse

  133. @Tedj If only the Chinese citizens had a say over how their authoritarian government interacted with their neighbors!

  134. Let’s imagine that you or I were President of the United States. Let’s imagine that the world was complicated and troubled. Let’s imagine that as president, there was a meeting with the most useful Americans to deal with this problem. Let’s imagine that your role/goal as president was to do good things and help. Would you stay silent and let your minions gloat, or would you stand with China and offer very public help? Darkness at noon in America.

  135. The terror and fear the Chinese people must be feeling for themselves and their families. Their government let them down in their initial response and now they are paying the price. It’s alright to be wise and cautious but cruel and racist NO. My heart goes out to the Chinese people .... you will get through this ... we will get through this.

  136. @Patty We should share knowledge with China e.g. development of a vaccine. But we should make enough vaccine for ourselves first. Only after we have enough for ourselves, should we make it for China or any other nation. The same is true for protective gear like face masks. China is a manufacturing powerhouse economy. It is their responsibility to manufacture whatever their people need, not ours. Our responsibility is to manufacture what we need. Only after we have met our responsibility to our own people, should we help China.

  137. The people who eat wild life brought that on themselves

  138. @Errol While the disease spreads throughout the world??? To effectively stop a widespread infectious disease is to tackle the source as quickly as possible. Vaccines take time to produce, months the least, perhaps years.

  139. This is ridiculous! If you want to find cases of sickle cell anemia, you don't indiscriminately test people at random....instead you test black people. That absolutely does not make you a racist because it is pure logic and mathematical probability that accounts for your behavior. Similarly, this disease originated in China and still primarily affects only Chinese persons (over 99%). I think even most of the victims of the cases that occurred outside of China were Chinese persons who traveled to other countries. This near exclusivity to Chinese persons will persist until non-Chinese persons start exhibiting the disease in substantial numbers. If you were in China, then it would be illogical to try to avoid Chinese people because over 99% of the population you encounter would be Chinese. But if you are in a place where only a few percent or less of the population is Chinese, then you could avoid all Chinese people with little inconvenience to yourself. Our government has stubbornly refused to ban non-US citizens from entering the US if they have recently been in China. And, such visitors don't wear signs indicating they came from China. Therefore, it is convenient and logical to avoid a small percentage of our population which has a higher chance of containing some members who are recently arrived from China. That is not xenophobia or racism. It is logic and mathematical probability used for the sole purpose of avoiding a very serious, sometimes fatal, disease.

  140. Sorry but sickle cell anemia has no relation to this at all. Yes, it predominantly affects people of African descent. But this coronavirus affects everyone, anyone can contract it and spread it. Just because people are of Chinese descent does not mean they have recently been to the affected region of China, and only around 2% of China's population is in that region. And, people who are not Chinese can easily have been to China, or at this point been infected by someone who was infected in that region. So there's no rational reason for racism in this case.

  141. @Errol sickle cell anemia is not exclusive to black people, sir. You just showed your biased assumptions.

  142. @Dan Stackhouse Your agenda of political correctness has led you to be fanciful and illogical. Of course, it is true that anyone CAN get the disease (indeed, that is why we are so worried about it). But SO FAR, nearly everyone who has the disease is Chinese! Therefore, for now it is logical to avoid the only population that contains persons carrying the disease. That will undoubtedly change in the coming weeks as more and more non-Chinese become infected. Only then will it no longer be logical to avoid Chinese persons in the US because then the probability of interacting with someone who carries the disease will no longer be lopsided in favor of Chinese.

  143. SARS is a good historical parallel. However, SARS petered out and didn't seem to become endemic. That would be an optimistic outcome today. However, if this virus becomes endemic, a more apt parallel might be AIDS. The initial link between AIDS and gay men made it convenient to call it a "gay cancer". Rather than study and treat AIDS, it was easier to blame the victims and be done with. Consequently, a disease that might have been contained with aggressive early effort now afflicts nearly 40 million people worldwide. So even if one is not compelled by compassion for fellow human beings, out of sheer self preservation, one should lend a helping hand to contain this novel coronavirus.

  144. @William Fang A retrovirus and a coronavirus are very different things. You can't compare the two. HIV is an entirely different problem. Coronavirus is easy - by comparison.

  145. I hope people will read this article and realize so many of their calls of 'racism' in many (not all) settings are absurd. These are Koreans/Japanese (Asians, last time I looked) who are calling for bans or restrictions of Chinese people (also Asians). Humans are programmed to protect themselves, their tribes, and their progeny - it is how we have evolved- and this is generally a good thing, that helps us pass on our genes to those who also protect their gene pool. So when news comes of potential or actual discrimination, we should look to a thorough analysis of the parameters in each circumstance and not simply reach for the low hanging fruit- of racism, sexism, whateverism, etc.

  146. @boji3 it seems that you are not aware or not of the opinion that Asian people can be racist to other Asian people. Asia is huge, it’s not culturally or ethnically monolithic, and there is a long history of xenophobia between all the various ethnicities. You see that with Han Chinese and Uyghurs, or Chinese and Koreans, or Koreans and the Japanese. Very common.

  147. @boji3 You tend to get more in the way of 'views' rather than 'news' here and given the predilection of this publication to racialise all and sundry, it's hardly surprising to see. I do find it bemusing that reporters here apparently see themselves as the arbiters of what constitutes bigotry/xenophobia; apparently able to diagnose, factually, cancerous prejudice to an entire body politic because of a newspaper pun or an individual allegedly being given odd looks. As for some of the specific instances raised: the Herald Sun used the same 'pandamonium' pun in a lighthearted article last year on Adelaide Zoo pandas. The actual content; merely about the state government being criticised for telling students returning from China to stay home. Insensitive perhaps, given the gravity of the situation, but hardly race-baiting. We've also had Ebola virus, Spanish Flu, German measles et al so what is so untoward/different about designations referring to China? Genuine bigotry should never be ignored, but unjustified or frivolous claims of racist victimisation (for reasons of ideology or otherwise) all too easily plays into the CCP's hands per their agenda in categorising any criticism of the government/country as anti-chinese racism.

  148. @boji3 A lot of people are so obsessed by their agenda of political correctness that it is more important to them that health and life itself. Actually, that is overstatement. It is more accurate to say that their agenda of political correctness is more important to them than the health and lives of OTHER PEOPLE than themselves.

  149. Had the disease originated in France, and the exact same response arose, would anyone be discussing xenophobia? I think not. This is a non-issue taking up space where more valuable topics should be discussed, like how close are we to a vaccine and how much will it cost?

  150. @McDiddle Are you kidding? Here in Annapolis, Md, the lunar new year celebration was canceled. How stupid is that????? What on earth were they thinking? Had even one person from Wuhan planned to attend that lunar new year celebration? Of course not!!!

  151. @McDiddle The point is, had the same disease arisen in France, the same xenophobia wouldn’t have emerged. In 2009, swine flu arose in Mexico and ultimately killed 12,000 Americans, yet there was no travel ban on Mexicans and no businesses putting up signs saying they wouldn’t serve Mexicans because of swine flu.

  152. It would be easier if you could actually point to an example involving white people, instead of simply hypothesizing one. I’d wager it’s difficult to find one, which is kind of exactly the point.

  153. How many die of the flu?

  154. @Rachelle Lane Go to CVS and get a coronavirus vaccine.

  155. @Dave Anybody who has not had the flu vaccine has no right to complain about n-cov. This is the time to hammer home the importance of the flu vaccine

  156. Has the US ever apologized for spreading the Spanish Flu all around the earth and killing 20-50 million people?

  157. @Washwalker Wait, how did the USA cover up news of the Spanish flu and spread it?

  158. @Washwalker - Why would we? It originated in and spread from Europe.

  159. Crisis’s either bring out the best in people or the worst just depends on what kind of a person you were before the crisis starts.

  160. Ah, humanity.

  161. Yet another example of how far the termites of political correctness have spread and how well and heartily they have dined. Billions of years of the evolutionary perfecting of the human survival instinct mindlessly tossed aside in favor of virtue signaling silliness. How residents of Toronto can be labeled racist and xenophobic for demanding that children of a family that recently returned from China be kept from school FOR 17 WHOLE DAYS (coincidentally the length of time of contagion) is indicative of the mindlessness of the article. If one connected the dots laid out in the article, it would seem that the world was not racist towards Chinese prior to the SARS outbreak, became racist during the outbreak, became NON-racist after it subsided, then became racist again in 2020 in the wake of the Caronavirus! What are we to make of publishing the following INANE statement of an assistant prof at University of Hawaii-Manoa (acceptance rate 85%). “Some of the xenophobia is likely undergirded by broader political and economic tensions and anxieties related to China, which are interacting with more recent fears of contagion.” Nonsensical speculation unsupported by ANY evidence served up as fact. How many credentialed China experts did the authors need to ignore or bypass in order to locate an assistant prof at this obscure school? It would be instructive to see if the 13 authors would volunteer to get right over to Wuhan Province and do some real research on the outbreak.

  162. @Hayekian von Mises It's NYT. They label everything as discriminating and racist.

  163. @Hayekian von Mises An excellent critique!

  164. Only the Times would interpret reasonable caution as racism!!!!! And by the way, do you think Chinese aren't racist?

  165. I’m on a commuter train in Sydney surrounded by many coughing and sneezing Chinese folks. What is one supposed to do?!

  166. Get out quickly!

  167. Be glad you got your flu shot or worried because you didn’t. The Corona virus is not a rational infection to worry about. ?Did you get your flu shot? It is always present, 12 months a year.

  168. @David I was on a similar trai this morning. You do know that not only people of Asian appearance go to China don't you? Hong Kong is a very popular destination for Australians, as are Macau, Shanghai and Beijing. Jus' sayin'...

  169. Sadly, people who have latent prejudices and racist beliefs allow those feelings to come to the surface when a group is maligned or at its weakest.

  170. Gee, it sounds like US immigration 101. Who are we to tell other countries, other cultures that they are irrational and xenophobic...its played out so many times in ours. Its the pot calling the kettle black isn't it? Again every country has the right and obligation to control its borders and its immigration for the protection of its own citizens...just because suspicions of hidden motives and are being questioned, or doesn't look good, doesn't mean it shouldn't be done.

  171. This virus, like any virus, doesn’t discriminate. If a simple virus doesn’t discriminate, neither should you!

  172. An interesting thing you can see from the article is that America is actually far less racist and xenophobic than almost all of the places mentioned in the article such as Australia, Japan, Vietnam and the rest. Not that NYT would have us believe this.

  173. @James Ozark , "Not that NYT would have us believe this." It's ironic that you would write this given that the article you read about the major xenophobia outside the U.S. was published in the NYT. Your post contradicts itself and exposes an unfounded bias against the NYT.

  174. @James Ozark I think every country has a similar amount of racists just like every ethnicity I have ever known has had their fair share of racists people. Racism is not specific to one country, it is a human condition.

  175. @James Ozark There’s nothing in the article that supports the idea that the US is less racist or xenophobic than the counties mentioned. Given the tone of many of the comments I suspect the only difference is time. As the cases start to appear here so too will the intolerant voices.

  176. Thank you for the reporting. The new virus outbreak is a painful reminder of how easily people turn to the most vicious part of human nature. If one gives any consideration that in a country with 1.3 billion people has thus far confirmed cases of less than 10,000 and mostly of them in one city, then it i snot hard to see how absurd to take a whole nation as infectious. Yes, all China's provinces now have confirmed cases. But the country is in the middle of a nature quarantine because of the Chinese New Year holidays. In many places, these holidays will last until Feb 9. By doing so, a vast population is now in a near lock-down. As the report says, all outbound tourist groups are cancelled. Think about it! Who are those Chinese in countries like Japan, South Korea, Thailand, Vietnam, of for that matter the Philippines. It is almost laughable to see someone in the Philippines wants to stop Chinese tourists coming. Really? Who bother? I would even argue that ethnic bias and discrimination are more rampant among Asian societies than the US. The Yellow Peril was a reminder that it is not just among the Americans in the 19th century, but some Asians in the 21st century as well that it would show its ugly face again.

  177. Where is the panic over flu? “While the impact of flu varies, it places a substantial burden on the health of people in the United States each year. CDC estimates that influenza has resulted in between 9.3 million – 49.0 million illnesses, between 140,000 – 960,000 hospitalizations and between 12,000 – 79,000 deaths annually since 2010.” Per CDC

  178. @Terry And we even have a become against the flu! We can actually do something about reducing the burden of influenza but there is no public will to mandate vaccinations. Sigh

  179. @Terry Apply If you apply a little bit of critical thinking beyond a sophomoric Google search, there is no panic for flu because: 1. There are vaccines for the flu virus, 2. 0.1% of flu cases result in death. The coronavirus has ZERO vaccines and 2% of coronavirus cases have resulted in death. Apply the 2% number to the people who get flu (49 million) and you get nearly a million.

  180. @Dave Being snarky doesn't make you correct. Extrapolating stats based on your own made up formula isn't fact.

  181. I wish that people were more kind.

  182. I wish China wasn’t a dictatorship based on fear, so that whistleblowers could have stopped the pandemic.

  183. If global ostracization forces China to outlaw consumption of exotic animals it could be the miracle that saves the Chinese Pangolin from extinction.

  184. Pigs can carry Preston Ebola. It's infectious but nonsymptomatic in human. Structurally it's very similar its sister strain - Ebola Zaire, which have 90% death rate in human. There is a nontrivial chance that a single mutation can confer high virulence to Preston Ebola. If a mutation like that happen, which can really happen anywhere, I wonder where would people direct their anger, what regime, culture and ethinicites are to be blamed.

  185. It's less anti-Chinese sentiment and more anti-Chinese government and the way they throttle down information that isn't favorable coming out of China .

  186. @BorisRoberts I hope you realize that the information made available about this virus is an exception to your statement.

  187. I believe it is optimistic to say that most commentators are making the distinction between the government and the people. Racism is bearing its teeth and turning what should be a national, if not worldwide tragedy into a victim-blaming fest.

  188. Even these comments are full of stereotypes, some of which are offensive and untrue, about Chinese people. If you're the one applying blanket statements to 1.3 billion people then you're exactly the type of person this article talks about. Of course we should take rational steps to contain this disease but it should be based on facts and evidence, not ill-informed beliefs or prejudices.

  189. A chinese woman infected 5 colleagues in Germany because she came in for a 2 day training, and showed no symptoms. She exhibited symptoms when she returned to China and China responsibly informed Germany. I have business associates coming in from China to attend the LA Art Show at a convention center. They will have come in from a mega city in a plane full of Chinese people, coming into a major convention center with tens of thousands expected to attend with no quarantine period. Tell me - would you go to this show and mingle? Being prideful has no place in a time like this. Why are events like this allowed? Why are all passengers no matter their ethnicity allowed into LAX or US airports without the relevant 14 day quarantine period? Does it need a higher infection rate for more careul prudent measures? Even the local Asian populations in Los Angeles would not object and are also avoiding Chinese areas. My Chinese friends told me so, and have canceled plans to visit China next month and also told me she will avoid me if i mingle with the fresh arrivals at the LA Art sHow.

  190. @Orion Perhaps your government could put them all in cages?

  191. Paranoia sweeps countries that border China. Meanwhile Chinese social media spreads stories that the US created the virus and inflicted it on the Chinese people intentionally. Fellow citizens of the world: now is the time to come together in compassion and united action. Resist the urge to scapegoat and blame. In whatever way you can, be part of the solution instead of adding to the problem.

  192. @Cal Prof I’d love some sources on that info about China blaming the USA. You’re displaying the very thing this article is describing.

  193. @Cal Prof Yes sir, social media is the source of endless falsehoods both intentional and unintentional. It should not be a source for news, medical treatment advice, or in fact anything, unless your sending family photographs to other members of your family. In fact, that isn't such a good idea either.

  194. @Johnson : Not “China” blaming the US; nothing to do with the Chinese government, just random people doing the usual rumor mongering a la birtherism and pizza parlor human trafficking. Ironically we say such stories “go viral”.

  195. Hopefully, this epidemic will finally provide the impetus for China to end wild life trade -- not because China's culinary habits and traditions do not comport with our western sensibilities -- but because, more important, ending such practice will help protect biodiversity and reduce animal cruelty.

  196. If China really cared about world health, it would permanently ban the trade of exotic animals. The virus has been traced to a market where people buy live exotic animals like bats and snakes to consume. China has banned it for now but that won’t last for long. In that sense it is a Chinese virus.

  197. The Chinese government doesn’t even care about its own people’s health, let alone the world health... They only want to control the population.

  198. What happens in a decade or so when China becomes the world’s largest and most powerful economy ? China’s record of restricting information, secrecy, absence of many commonplace western civil and legal safeguards as well as support for the North Korean regime ought be cause for concern. Unlike other major nations, e.g. U.S., Russia, Japan, India, Germany, France China is a one Party nation. Answerable only to its leaders who may well likely tend to their interests above all other concerns.

  199. @Peter I Berman - Russia is a single party dictatorship, for all practical purposes.

  200. @Peter I Berman. despite what its Constitution says and the "existence" of opposing political parties, Russia is de facto also a one-party nation.

  201. This is the way people always behave in a crisis: groups become insular and if "another" can be blamed, it will be. It belies the weakness of the "diversity is our strength" mantra, multiculturalism, inclusion, and ethical relativism. And it is a foreboding of what will happen in the U.S. if our highly fragmented society has reason to resent any particular "community."

  202. @Grunt It already exists #ADOS have been set aside as a bottom caste. Check stats for net worth, homelessness, incarceration. We are dying everyday. A NYT commenter used the term "parasite". What's to stop an overzealous prison official from deciding to pull the gas lever?

  203. I would like to hear what indigenous people in the Americas, Caribbean islands, and Pacific islands think about the recent coronavirus outbreak. Theirs is a worthy perspective from which to listen and learn. That said, one has to realize that corona and other viruses in animals are literally everywhere. Conditions may increase the likelihood of jumping from animals to humans. It’s time to rethink the factory model of meat/poultry production in the USA.

  204. @Donna M Nieckula Its the factory farming model that has prevented this from happening in the US. This particular strain of cornonavirus seems to originate with bats. Regulation that prohibits people from selling wildlife meat and in particular species that are known to carry infectious diseases would have prevented this. FYI, its illegal to commercially sell or serve game/wildlife meat in the USA.

  205. @Donna M Nieckula These viruses come from people messing around with REALLY wild protein sources. Monkey meat ebola in Africa and the of course who-could-resist bat-carrying coronavirus in China. If they had a factory model for meat production they wouldn't have this problem.

  206. "And in a suburb of Toronto, parents demanded that a school district keep children of a family that had recently returned from China out of classes for 17 days". Is that racism, fear or a sensible approach? The incubation period (the time between infection and start of symptoms) for the coronavirus is about five days, but it can occasionally be up range from two to 14 days. So children of any family coming from China at this time should be kept out of school at least during the incubation period of this illness. I am sorry to see that this illness has created some xenophobia, that cannot be denied but every family with school-going children will be somewhat worried under similar circumstances, that is not xenophobia.

  207. @Padman Without more information, anyone, whatever color or race, coming from China, should go through a period of confinement. How is the epidemic going to be stopped if this does not happen? Reasonable precautions is different from racism. Hopefully any children coming out of China, will be able to receive on-line instruction to keep them informed. If the United States had a deadly virus, I would not even think of going to another country without a period of confinement. This is about the disease process and not about the nationality of the person.

  208. Racist inspired tribalism lurks below the surface of human civility everywhere in the world, and not very far below at that. It doesn't take much to prompt the rearing of racism's ugly head. Human decency is needed to blunt the harm of xenophobic bigotry.

  209. Perhaps the real villains are those who still eat meat. They are literally killing an entire planet.

  210. I do not think it is racist to request that people do a self quarantine for up to 14 days if they are coming from the PRC.

  211. So, the latest news about the US diplomats flown out of China and placed in a 72 hour quarantine: "An American who was evacuated from Wuhan was placed in coronavirus quarantine after trying to flee California base" Again, what makes these people so special that they only need a 72 hour quarantine, while the rest of the world recommends a two-week quarantine. Sure... the CDC is running tests... but how sensitive are those tests for someone who just caught the virus? Two Japanese refused to be tested once they reached Japan... and officials were forced to let them go because of "Human Rights!" Yep... we don't have thing to worry about in this "It's all about me" culture!

  212. Oh yeah! The haters are out for blood. No problem buying all the schtuphff from China, but lets not give them a break now. Well maybe we should remember that we are the premier bombers of the universe, leaving no village in Syria, Iraq, Mali, Afghanistan, Colombia, Somalia, Libya, etc., untouched. And speaking of Japan, let's not forget the gift of radioactive dust and fish we got from them.

  213. Didn't we read about a bus driver in NYC who didn't want to let a Hassidic person on the busy during the measles outbreak?

  214. Xenophobia is an unfortunate and ignorant knee jerk response. We’ll get through this. But China is going to have to make some hard regulatory decisions with regards to the way it runs its markets and food distribution.

  215. Rep. Lee In-young (South Korea). “True friends help each other during a hardship...China is a friend that we have to help and live together with for a long time. We must refrain from acts that will encourage hatred between the people of the two countries. We need to extend our warm help to the Chinese people.” I completely agree. US, South Korea, and all people of good will should support the people of China during this time of hardship. It is smart politics and morally right. Joseph Yi (Hanyang University)

  216. If China didnt focus so much on greed maybe they would have the regulations to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. I mean, they have now spawned two viruses in the last few years that had the potential to turn into global pandemics. One day one of those viruses could kill millions instead of hundreds. If they Chinese want to prevent xenophobia maybe they should be better global citizens. From my perspective all they seem to do is cheat and steal and manipulate the rest of the world while sending millions of their own people to reeducation camps. And dont say that America does the same things because we dont. That false equivalence is a cop out that liberals use so they can just complain about everything and do nothing.

  217. Uh.... How is Toronto parents asking for a medically valid quarantine for recent arrivals “anti-Chinese sentiment”? The first human-to-human transmission in the US has just been reported in Chicago; it was brought by a woman who just flew in from Wuhan. I don’t care and don’t know what ethnicity she is; a quarantine for her would have been reasonable. If quarantine criteria are regardless of ethnicity, then they are most certainly NOT anti-Chinese sentiment.

  218. What is the record of Chinese as to xenophobia, discrimination towards nonChinese? People who have lived and worked in China can tell you. Can you work in China if you are married to a Chinese? Are Chinese in a position to judge?

  219. Don't connect everything with discrimination and other social justice issues. It is totally understandable to avoid Chinese from mainland China at this time because of the coronavirus outbreak. Would you, Ms. Rich, want to mingle with a Chinese who just arrived in the States from Wuhan? I would certainly not. Use your common sense.

  220. At times like this, ignorance is running rampant! On FOX News last night, it was reported that many folks have assumed that Corona Beer from Mexico has something to do with the Corona virus! (I thought Trump supporters were more into Rolling Rock and Pabst). Perhaps, this is just another reason the president is giving his base to ban visitors from south of the border.

  221. Simply shut down the borders. No more travel. No need to add any more than that and make it about something else.

  222. This is another example of fear, ignorance and misinformation giving rise to civil unrest. I fear that this new disease is going to breed more irrational behavior including in the United States where we have a president who has been stoking hatred and misinformation for years.

  223. Calling this virus a Chinese virus is totally appropriate as the culture and government has long tolerated creating breeding grounds where animals are in close proximity that should not be. This is not random. It is a Chinese problem through and through. This doesn’t entitle us to denigrate and discriminate against Chinese people individually. But it’s darn frustrating that there’s so little emphasis on disease prevention/creation/spread.

  224. It would be better if there is Chinese scholar’s voices to balance the western scholar’s opinions.

  225. You mean the Chinese scholars who steal intellectual property?

  226. There seem to be more pundits commenting the press than actual victims of the virus.

  227. Racist? Maybe. But right now I would not eat at my favorite Chinese restaurant as many Chinese eat there, including ones visiting the US from China. I don’t need the risk to my already fragile health.

  228. Just in case people were wondering if only conservatives were untethered from reality, along comes a bizarro opinion piece on why we should care more about people’s delicate feelings than a potential global epidemic.

  229. The reports of bigotry are very concerning...but a possible global pandemic is the sort of thing that does tend to provoke anti-Chinese sentiment... The fact is the Chinese government needs to crack down on their wildlife markets. They haven’t. Many of the animals reported for sale in the Wuhan market are critically endangered—eg., the Chinese giant salamander. The Chinese are eating endangered animals into extinction, especially for traditional medicines. And zoonotic diseases are much more likely to spring from exotic vs domestic animal consumption. This is how SARS emerged; it’s how this latest corona virus outbreak spread. Maybe now China will finally move on this issue for the sake of their own people, and that of global human and wildlife populations—and to militate against anti-Chinese bigotry.

  230. I have seen numerous wet markets THAT WERE NOT IN CHINA, rather, they were in Malaysia and Indonesia. I would expect to find them in Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Burma, Viet Nam as well. Rustic people in Borneo (and likely elsewhere) capture exotic animals for these markets. It's a hard cash business for them. Thus it is not only China that poses a risk for this kind of disease to emerge.

  231. Anti-Chinese sentiment was already rising. The tourists from China step on toes with poor manners in every town they swarm. In mindful, polite, Japan the Chinese tourists stand out like sore thumbs. Sad but true. Meanwhile, the Chinese governments human rights abuses and control are horrifying. The Chinese systematic hacking and stealing of our defense secrets and industrial intellectual property is unforgivable. Truly a government with no morals.

  232. I'm really sorry for the people of China. No point in being racist or unkind during this. Just a little reminder especially for those who have rejected the flu vaccine. In the US this flu season, 8,200 people have already died and 140,000 people have been hospitalized during the 2019-2020 flu season, according to preliminary estimates from the CDC. So get a shot, wash your hands, and stay home if you're ill please.

  233. If China wants to be a global leader then they should start behaving like one. They need to be determined to improve food safety; their third world habits of eating exotic wild animals needs to stop. Since we are all connected globally, a remote outbreak can traverse the global in a matter of days. A small remote Chinese village eating infected wild civets and bamboo rats, can touch all of us, as we are experiencing now.

  234. this should be the best time that the chinese government or any government whose people still patronize exotic foods to crackdown and put an end to these "cultural thing" its not only the diseases they carry but their existence is being threatened.

  235. The big question is how do we make this about the disease and the necessary precautions to avoid further spread and not about the Chinese people? Obviously this isn’t about Chinese Americans who haven’t recently traveled to China nor Chinese citizens of Canada, Australia etc. It is about tourists, students, business trippers etc of any race or nationality who may have been exposed to the virus in China or in their travels . People are frightened and it’s much easier for them to just brand all Chinese as potential disease threats rather than take the time to figure out if they even are. Here in the US I would expect that many can’t tell Chinese apart from Japanese or Koreans so anti-Asian distancing might well pop up if the disease threat here worsens. This isn’t at all unprecedented though. Just recently the outbreak of measles within the Hasidic community of NY resulted in reports of lots of people rejecting the presence of Hasidic Jews on buses, in stores and other venues. Essentially all those who appeared to be religious Jews were presumed to potentially be a measles carrier. I don’t like it but I understand it from a biological standpoint. Rejection of the “other” who might present a danger is probably hard wired into our psyche.

  236. The Coronavirus has inflicted in many different countries. All this proves is that Nature plays no favorites where disease is concerned. Unfortunately, that doesn't stop bias on the part of people who are afraid. I remember nearly 40 years ago when AIDS was more and more prominent in the US. The mere fact that initially, the disease 'appeared' to be affecting gay men got people all bent out of shape because so many were terrified of dying, and because most people's experience with disease is the airborne variety, they led themselves to believe that even being in the same room as a gay person would potentially expose them to the disease. All these fearful responses actually detrimented good scientific response to the disease and set back research by years. If not for that initial panic reaction, AIDS/HIV might already be cured now. I see these same trends with the Coronavirus and the Chinese. People should fear less and pay attention more. Kneejerk reactions never help.

  237. A temporary ban on Chinese nationals entering the U.S. makes more sense right now than Trump's Muslim travel ban. What is he waiting for?

  238. Native Chinese here. For those of you who deem articles like this as anti-China, xenophobic, or racist, go to Twitter and Reddit to check out videos of how people from Wuhan and Hubei are being received in other parts of China now. There have been occasions where people rounded up cars with Hubei plates and forced the drivers out of the city they were trying to enter. Also, Wuhanese are being illegally rejected by hotels and public facilities elsewhere in China. A video I watched today shows that a bunch of people violently sealed the door of an apartment which housed a few residents from Wuhan without their permission. In fact, the majority of Chinese people, especially the young ones, are rather dissatisfied with the way the government handled this crisis. Many of us feel that the CCP and the Chinese state media it has direct control over should have disclosed the severity of the corona virus and mobilized all those necessary measures to counter the spread of it much earlier than when this matter has escalated to a more precarious level.

  239. I think this backlash is understandable, not from a racist standpoint, but from the view that China is in many ways a reprehensible and dangerous country, a single party dictatorship that rules its own people with violence and intimidation. Never mind the cheap products and impressive public projects, and the Americans who have gotten rich doing business there, it's a dystopian place that is over populated, without press or political freedom, which threatens the rest of the world with its economic and potential technical dominance. And, of course, a breeding ground for pandemics.

  240. @JS A much better way of saying what I was getting at above...

  241. I don’t see much difference between consuming, e.g., dogs or cows.

  242. Since 2010 the CDC reports that between 9 million to 45 million cases of flu influenza in the USA. Somewhere between 140,000 and 810,000 hospitalizations, and between 12,000 and 61,000 deaths. As many as 646,000 people may die worldwide from influenza every year. Roughly 1-2% of infections are fatal The danger of a real pandemic, such as the Spanish flu in 1917 is real. And the world is largely unprepared for such an outbreak. The estimated average death rate was 10-20% for the Spanish flu. The Wuhan virus is 2%. I think this is a lot of uproar over nothing

  243. Correction/clarification. Since 2010 from the flu influenza in the USA---9 million to 45 million per year. 140,00-810,000 hospitalizations per year. 12,000-61,000 deaths per year. I'll repeat, this is being over hyped. It is a crossover virus, and that is where the next big pandemic will come from, but this one is not it. It is no more lethal than the influenzas that the world deals with every year. From an individual perspective of risk, it's just another influenza virus. The difference being that there is no flu shot for this one. But even the annual flu shots, that are only available to a fraction of the worlds population, only address, at best, less that40% of any given years influenza strains. Typically somewhere around 28%.

  244. It's ironic to hear and read comments by Americans who are brow beating the Chinese. With a terrible and excessively costly health care system and a government that allows employers to fire workers who stay home when sick, one has to wonder how modern-day US would fare in a pandemic. Not well, I imagine.

  245. @Tres Leches Agreed. I am one of the American commenters who criticized the Chinese government, but I am worried that our own country is headed down a similar path.

  246. When fear replaces reasoning, people say and do terrible things. This is not new. Catastrophes have always provided an excuse to promote bigotry and one’s own political or religious agenda. Social media just makes it easier to spread—much like a virus.

  247. People haven’t yet figured out that pathogens are neither Republicans or Democrats, neither Chinese nor American. Politics should stay out of it. Pathogens are opportunists and infect anybody and everybody. Isolating exposed or potentially people wherever they are is key, along with international cooperation. And to give you an idea how bad things can get, the number killed by tuberculosis, another highly transmissible disease, over the past two weeks was 40,000 and the number newly infected 200,000 over the same period (for an annual kill rate of 2.5M with 10M newly infected). The pandemic flu in 1919 would reach 10 times those numbers.

  248. This article is completely off-base. I think people are actually concerned about an epidemic of a potentially deadly virus of which we still know very little. We are especially concerned for the weaker members of our families- children, the old, the sick. We would be concerned whether that virus came from Europe, America, or Timbuktu. The timing of the emergence of the virus is unfortunate coinciding with the holidays and Chinese New Year when millions of people who normally wouldn’t be travelling have. However, the fact that two major viruses have come from China in recent years (reported in NYT as stemming from wildlife practices considered barbaric in the west) speaks for itself.