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  • Koreen Liew-Young

Coronavirus: #TheyAreAlsoUs

Updated: Oct 16, 2021

My husband Julian, asked me what I'd like to do for dinner tonight. The first thing that went through my mind was that my four-year-old son, had a cough. Not just a wee cough, a spluttery one. Now he doesn't have a fever or any other symptoms and is still bouncing off all four walls at 8:30pm at night with a cheeky grin on his face, (all the parents out there do you feel me,) but it still crossed my mind. If we go out, will people start to mutter things under their breath or cast dirty glances our way. One year ago, we all stood together, many ethnicities, many religions, arm in arm, making human chains around Muslim communities to show our love, and support during the time of the horrific ordeal in Christchurch. Hashtags went up all over the internet. "#ThisIsNotUs" was met with some disagreement. "#WeAreOne" and "#TheyAreUs" seemed to be more widely accepted and celebrated. Photographs capturing our Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern hugging people of Muslim faith (while wearing a hijab), captured hearts around the world.

However, this year as the number of coronavirus cases increases, it's been disappointing to read about all the racism that's been happening in New Zealand. Auckland Chinese Community (ACCC) chairman, Kai Luey, speaks to The AM show in this interview if you click through. The New Zealand Chinese Association (NZCA) president, Richard Leung, has also said "It is not on to harass or abuse anyone because of their ethnicity. Our actions must be based on facts and evidence rather than ignorance."

Racist attacks are also on the rise around the world with regards to Asian people as shown in the video below.

I applaud Helene Wong's stand against racism, however, I feel her t-shirt "'I'm not from Wuhan, drop the pitchfork." still separates "us" from "them", when at the end of the day, we are all one. So we decided to go to Wuhan Cafe to have some dumplings and noodles and support the chinese restaurants who are struggling. Perhaps another hashtag we could start using is to acknowledge all Asian people who call New Zealand home would be #TheyAreAlsoUs.

I'll leave you with my husband's thoughts that he penned for Facebook tonight.

"Tonight, we were going to go out for ramen, but then remembered we need to support Chinese restaurants that are suffering due to unfounded fears of Coronavirus.

So we went straight for the mothership! The Wuhan Cafe.

Unfortunately, the restaurant was empty. We had a chat with the owners. They were super nice and were so touched that people were coming to support them in this difficult time.

They were so gracious and thankful when they didn’t need to be. Because there currently isn’t any risk for us to go to Chinese restaurants (or any other Chinese businesses or even interact with Chinese people).

Friends, there are no COVID-19 cases in NZ. Currently, more people are winning Lotto than getting Coronavirus in NZ.

You can’t catch it from food either.

If you go to this place on Dominion Rd, try the hongshao (red braised) pork noodles. Some of the best hongshao meat I have ever tried.

Auntie also says hi."

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