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Letters: Virus references challenged


Dear Editor,

Re: “Chinese student visit to Richmond school cancelled due to coronavirus,”, Jan. 28.

My concern with this article is the author writes that parents were anxious “given the spread of the deadly Chinese coronavirus” across China.

“Chinese coronavirus” may be easily misunderstood as being racist to many Chinese or Chinese-Canadian individuals, including myself. I do not think it is necessary to include “Chinese,” as anyone can contract the coronavirus, not just Chinese people. For example, I have seen when a Chinese individual coughed on the train or bus and people of another race back away with a look assuming the person has the coronavirus. This continues racist behaviour towards Chinese people.

For people who don’t know much about what is happening in China, they might read this article and become misinformed and think that only Chinese individuals can be infected by the coronavirus.

The solution is simple, instead of “Chinese coronavirus” write “coronavirus.” The article would sound less offensive to the Chinese population and would also be more welcomed by them.

Stanly Wong, a student at JN Burnett secondary in Richmond, B.C.

Editor’s Note: Early story on the outbreak referred to it as the Chinese coronovirus; now we call it coronavirus.