Sadly, the global response to the coronavirus COVID-19 has made clear that the fear of contracting disease has an ugly cousin: xenophobia.

As the coronavirus has spread from China to other countries, anti-Asian discrimination has followed closely behind, manifesting in plummeting sales at Chinese restaurants, near-deserted Chinatown districts and racist bullying against people perceived to be Chinese.

If you’re not familiar with that word, here’s what Wikipedia has to say on the growing issue of racism related to the coronavirus:

The outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in December 2019, which originated in the city of Wuhan, Hubei, China, has led to increased prejudice, xenophobia, discrimination, violence, and racism against Chinese people and people of East Asian or Southeast Asian descent and appearance, particularly in Europe, Northern America and the Asia-Pacific region.[1][2][3][4][5][6][7] Some countries in Africa are seeing rising anti-Chinese sentiment.[8][9]

Here’s a link to an NPR.org (National Public Radio) article about the impact of this situation: When Xenophobia Spreads Like a Virus. The article, by Natalie Escobar, includes a link to the Code Switch Xenophobia podcast itself, which is a worthwhile 25-minute listen.