“I am not a virus”: French Asians blast racism over coronavirus outbreak

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Doctor Xu Fei introduces the treatment of a patient at the First Affiliated Hospital of Nanchang University in Nanchang, east China's Jiangxi Province, Jan. 27, 2020. The patient of the novel coronavirus pneumonia has been cured and discharged from the First Affiliated Hospital of Nanchang University on Monday. He is the first coronavirus-infected patient that was cured in Jiangxi Province. (Xinhua/Peng Zhaozhi)
Doctor Xu Fei introduces the treatment of a patient at the First Affiliated Hospital of Nanchang University in Nanchang, east China's Jiangxi Province, Jan. 27, 2020. The patient of the novel coronavirus pneumonia has been cured and discharged from the First Affiliated Hospital of Nanchang University on Monday. He is the first coronavirus-infected patient that was cured in Jiangxi Province. (Xinhua/Peng Zhaozhi)

Asians in France this week created a Twitter hashtag #Jenesuispasunvirus (I am not a virus) to complain of racism and prejudice amid the novel coronavirus outbreak.

As the hashtag went viral, a young woman who was mocked on a bus in Paris and declined to give her name, said “the worst virus is systemic racism … We know very well that a virus has no nationality!”

“I even wonder how people would react in public spaces if I ever cough.”

“I was the victim of a racist act by a group of young girls. I could hear them laughing and making fun of me. One said: How do we call Coronavirus patients? Chinese people, right?” she said.

As the hashtag spread, tens of thousands people have flocked to Twitter to signal their discontent about discrimination and racism.

“An Asian French woman sits on the train. All of the people sitting next to or in front of her changed places with disgust, except me,” a hashtag user wrote. “She smiled at me and started to cry.”

Another one, whose online name is Rei, tweeted: “Stop asking if we’re dangerous if we cough while all the people around us are doing so.”

“A person from Chinese origin is not a person infected with the coronavirus. We are not a virus,” the Association of Young Chinese in France said. Enditem

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