As I sat down in class one day in early March, I overheard my classmates discussing the rumored causes of coronavirus, from bat soup to pangolins.
It was then that one of my classmates asked, from across the room, if COVID-19 was caused by people in China eating dogs.
As an Asian American student, the coronavirus pandemic is an especially difficult topic for me, and since my elderly relatives live in the province next to Wuhan, I’ve been worried for them since January.
One might wonder how this became the norm, but there are examples all around, even at our highest levels of government.
Current president Donald Trump has repeatedly called COVID-19 the “Chinese virus,” although he did backtrack later when asked to clarify, saying he was talking about China and not Asian Americans.