COVID-19 related racism directed at Chinese community could have lasting effect: psychologist


VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — It’s not the Wuhan virus or the China virus, and those terms are causing distress within the Chinese community, says a Chinese-Canadian psychologist.

Dr. Gina Ko teaches at two Alberta Universities and says she is worried about what she’s hearing from her students.

She says they are fearful after seeing more news reports of anti-Chinese violence related to COVID-19 fears.

“The fact that my students are worried and scared going into practicum and practise, you know, I’m scared for them,” Ko says.

She explains the racism people in the Chinese community face, may affect the way some people view their heritage.

“Even today after 9-11, people who identify as Muslims they still get attacked, they still get treated violently. Xenophobia and racist comments are used against them,” she says.

And Ko says hearing world leaders like President Trump call COVID-19 the China virus is just one example of how racism is spreading.

“I am worried about the youth, too, growing up. Right now kindness is so important. Kindness and compassion, and caring for our neighbours, reaching out to people,” she says.

Ko says she predicts more people will reach out for counselling in the coming weeks because of heightened tension couple with feelings of loneliness in isolation.

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