Every time a global pandemic hits the world, a cultural pandemic is bound to follow. In his tweet dating back to March 17, 2020, US President Donald Trump called Coronavirus as the ‘Chinese Virus’. Senator Tom Cotton, while announcing a temporary closure of his office in DC, cited the ‘Wuhan Virus’ as the main reason for shutting down his office. This came just days after Centres For Disease Control and Prevention announced that it is inappropriate and absolutely wrong to dub the global pandemic with any cultural or racial connotation.
In this article, we look at both sides of the coin – the reasons, the implications, and the impact of giving a deadly virus a racial name. We will also look at whether the Coronavirus be dubbed as ‘Wuhan Virus’ or ‘Chinese Virus’. So, let’s dig in!
Does America benefit from blaming China?
As more and more American Governers, Senators and White House officials continue to blame China for Coronavirus, a question arises – Does America benefit from splashing red in China’s ledger? Well, it could be a reason.
Despite WHO announcing that the virus should right be only called ‘Coronavirus’, as associating the virus with any race, religion, or nationality can call for rampant discrimination, division and hatred towards that particular community, country and race, American right-winged politicians continue to assert otherwise.
Think about – America and China are constantly entangled in a bilateral trade war and being the world’s top two powerful nations, the countries are always trying to outdo each other. In such a scenario, if America succeeds in maligning China’s reputation as a reliable world power, then we know who’s going to have the upper hand!
Even if right-winged American politics is obsessed with the ‘Wuhan Virus’ or the ‘Chinese Virus’, history tells us that it’s not absolutely wrong to call it so.
The other side of the coin
Who remembers MERS? The Spanish Flu? Or Ebola Virus? MERS is the acronym for Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome. Ebola Virus got its name from the River Ebola, situated in the Democratic Republic of Congo. And we all know why is Spanish Flu called so!
When all of this was happening, when viruses in the past were named after their place of origin, where was WHO then? Where were the liberal leftists then, shouting how discriminatory it is to name a virus from its place of origin?
The truth is, viruses have always been named after the place they came from. They have always been known by their epicenter. So, why should Coronavirus be any different? Why should COVID-19 be an exception?
It’s not wrong to dub Coronavirus as ‘Wuhan Virus’. After all, Wuhan was ground zero for the virus. Wuhan was the epicenter of the virus. It all began from Wuhan, didn’t it?
Of course, one cannot discriminate against the Chinese population on grounds of the virus that has now gripped the world. However, one cannot run away, as the leftists around the world are, from agreeing that China is indeed responsible for the spread of the virus beyond repairable measures.
Why should China be held responsible for Coronavirus?
It is a known fact that the Chinese government was involved in suppressing the truth about Coronavirus from the world. An infected doctor, who found the epistemology for the disease, who tried to spread the word about the virus, was contained by the Chinese government, and he later died from the virus.
China did not want the real numbers of the virus-affected people to leak around the world. The government couldn’t bear to lose a global reputation because it would become obvious that the country cannot contain the virus successfully. The consequence of this, in short, was that the world is now shut for maintenance!
The world economy today is at an all-time low. Businesses and employees are suffering from a drowned economic system. People are forced to close their factories, small businesses, and daily services, just to sit at home, locked away from the world, uncertain about what the future holds for them.
At the risk of sounding non-diplomatic, it is imperative that the Chinese government accept responsibility for hiding the truth from the world, for feeding the countries lies about the virus, and for suppressing logical voices from the country into reaching out to the world. After all, the world powers did hold Germany responsible for bloodshed and manslaughter after WWI, right?
Should we blame the Chinese population for the ‘Wuhan Virus’?
No. This is precisely what we need to avoid. Yes, the epidemic started in Wuhan. But, we must remember that the Chinese population has suffered as much, in fact, much more, than the rest of the world due to the virus.
We may dub Coronavirus as ‘Wuhan Virus’, but we must do it only to remember and record the virus’ place of origin and epicenter. The Chinese people are already paying a heavy price due to Coronavirus. Any racial slur, discrimination or hatred directed towards any Chinese national or immigrant because of Coronavirus will be a misstep on our part.
The best thing we can do right now is to stay together and find a cure for the virus. Let us not let any political implications impact our fight against Coronavirus. But yes, let us also not lose our sense of right and wrong after being blinded by political correctness.
Coronavirus originated and created its epicenter in Wuhan, China. So, yes, it’s right to call it the ‘Wuhan Virus’. In fact, the Chinese government must be questioned by the WHO and the UN for its decision pertaining to the handling of COVID -19 and it must be asked to make the necessary amends, but let us not extend this policy to the Chinese population, and let us not transform it into a cultural war.
Coronavirus has already brought numerous countries closer to each other, both emotionally and mentally. It has now made us realize that though not in joy, but at least in suffering, we are one. Let us take only this lesson from the global pandemic, and in due time, we will be just fine.