People wear masks as they walk in Milan, Italy, on Feb. 24, 2020. (Photo: Xinhua)
The novel coronavirus pneumonia is spreading across the world fast and triggering global panic. At this critical juncture, fighting the epidemic is the most important thing, but some people vent their sentiments and label the epidemic as a "Chinese" one to voice their anger toward the poor handling of their government of the epidemic.
The epidemic first broke out in China and the nation mobilized its people to fight the disease. But so far, even the scientific world has no conclusion where the virus came from. In this season, the influenza infection rate and mortality rate in the US are both very high. Global media outlets have constantly raised the question that the novel coronavirus epidemic and the influenza epidemic are not clearly distinguished in the US.
When the epidemic broke out in Wuhan, the local government did not act on time, which has drawn nationwide criticism. China has been reflecting upon how to perfect its system and ensure it can forcefully contain the spread of every epidemic.
From a global perspective, the epidemic was not contained timely because of various mishandlings, which shows a common governance flaw. Countries such as South Korea, Japan, Italy and Iran have seen Wuhan's tragedy and are supposed to be better prepared both physically and psychologically. However, these countries have all been hit hard. This shows containing such a strong epidemic as COVID-19 is difficult to all the countries who should reflect upon internal governance rather than indulging in hysteria.
Now, Germany and France have seen a rising number of infected cases. If public opinion in these countries does not supervise their government to carry out more resolute measures but seek psychological comfort by blaming East Asian countries especially China, they are absolutely wrong. If any country cannot contain the epidemic, it has no one to blame but itself.
The World Health Organization on Friday raised its global risk assessment of the virus to its highest level and called for robust action. On Thursday, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet noted that the coronavirus epidemic has set off a disturbing wave of prejudice against people of Chinese and East Asian ethnicity and she called on member states to do their utmost to combat this and other forms of discrimination.
These claims and appeals of authoritative bodies reflect humankind's awareness of science and rationality. At the outset many infected cases were spread from China into other regions of the world. This is a natural process just as cases now may be being transmitted from epidemic-ravaged countries to others. But the tough prevention and control measures the Chinese government later adopted have greatly changed the situation, winning more time for other countries and regions to prepare. This was highly praised by the WHO.
Countries should join hands to fight the epidemic and overcome difficulties and should not allow the virus to revive the selfishness of humanity. Selfishness shouldn't spread as a virus. People should be more united, and not complain to each other or seek gains from each other's misfortune. We should encourage and support each other so that we could fight a united war against the coronavirus.
Some Western politicians have made offensive remarks against the Chinese and Asian. Actions and words that humiliated and insulted them have continuously been seen and heard in Western societies. If these took place in China, they would have been strongly criticized by public opinion. However, Western societies have kept silent. This is regretful and disappointing.
For instance, a senior official of an epidemic-hit district in Italy blatantly claimed Chinese society is dirty while the Italians love cleanliness. How can such a low-quality person become the head of the district and how could he lead epidemic control work?
Some Americans have acridly called the novel coronavirus "China virus." The H1NI virus broke out in North America and spread to the world in 2009. Does anyone call it "America virus?" The US is the epicenter of flu every year, causing death of hundreds of thousands of people annually across the world. Has the US been condemned because of this?
Finally, for a few people in China mentally enslaved by foreign thoughts, we want to tell them: Respect science and rationality and have national dignity. China has its own problems, so do other countries in this global virus fight. All countries should take good care of their own people. This is what they should do.