A horrifying video started circulating yesterday on social media as a result of the Coronavirus panic. The video shows an Asian man in a car with the driver covering his mouth, clearly worried about an infection. Yet, the devastating part is that the driver was being encouraged by nearby drivers to force the Asian passenger to leave the car.
Drivers from other cars started mocking the Asian man and calling him “corona”. The driver started to make fun of the man as well and left him on the ring road in a messy situation where the Chinese man was trying to ride another cab while being video graphed by the bully who posted the videos on his Facebook account as well.
This is not the first racism incident to occur since everyone started panicking about catching the Coronavirus, thus an exaggerated fear is obvious towards Asians. Last February, a restaurant in Maadi wrote a note preventing Chinese people from entering the restaurant and the Chinese restaurant owner justified that she was obliged to take this act to calm down Egyptians who are her main clients.
It doesn’t end in Egypt. A similar incident of racism took place in London. A 23-year-old Singaporean man was attacked by a group of people on Oxford Street which left him with severe facial and eye injuries. “I don’t want Coronavirus in my country,” yelled one of the attackers.
I believe times of panic show the true colors of people especially when it is accompanied by lack of awareness and trust which shows that this won’t be the last bullying incident against Asians or the last unplanned decision taken by officials due to the panic caused by Coronavirus which triggers everyone’s fears.
Taking precautions against everyone, Egyptians or foreigners is a must at this point. Yet, yelling racist slurs at an abandoned foreigner on the ring road, who is clearly fearing his life, is inhumane and cruel.