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The campus communities impacted by the coronavirus: An interview with the UCalgary Chinese Students and Scholars Association

By Sophia Lopez, February 27 2020 —

In the past few weeks, the coronavirus epidemic has sparked the attention of everyone around the world. It is evident to see, through news and videos, that this virus has affected many people in China and outside of China. With this said, many haven’t realized the psychological effects the virus has had on Asian communities, especially the Chinese community.

The University of Calgary has a Chinese Students and Scholars Association (CSSA) that focuses on modern and traditional Chinese culture. With information about the coronavirus being so easily accessible to everyone, the U of C community has also been affected by this virus, with specific communities facing the brunt of the paranoia caused by the epidemic. The virus has caused people to become cautious to the point where other communities, particularly Asian ones, report being treated differently.

Eric Yu, a member of the University of Calgary CSSC, spoke on his community, as well as other Asian communities, and how they’ve dealt with this virus.

“Everyone wants to try and take their precaution now to, first of all, create moral support and build support for their families overseas, comforting them,” said Yu, “and also doing their part in society by washing their hands, covering their mouths, etc.”

Yu also explained that the coronavirus has caused him and his friends to question themselves. With everyone worrying about the virus, it has caused them to feel a sort of pressure not to get sick.

 “It seems like there’s a stigma between our society and its views towards the coronavirus regarding the Asian community,” said Yu. “It feels like ‘We’re Asian, maybe we have a higher chance of catching the virus or higher chance that we have the virus.’ ”

Yu stresses that the school community needs to understand that not every Chinese person is affected by coronavirus and that clear communication can lead to a more understanding environment, where all people of Asian cultures are being respected.

 “All we can do right now is just be open about it,” said Yu, “clarifying everything people are worried about.”

Just like everyone else, Yu and the rest of the Asian community wishes to see the coronavirus come to an end.

“Communication is key here and just like everyone else,” said Yu. “We hope for the coronavirus to swiftly come to a conclusion.”

Yu and the CSSA remain optimistic, expressing their hopes to see the U of C community returning to being one that respects and does not discriminate against those of different races or cultures during the coronavirus epidemic.

To get in touch with, or gain more information about the Chinese community and culture, the University of Calgary Chinese Students and Scholars Association (UofC CSSA) can be reached through email, cssacalgary@yahoo.com and through their Facebook page, UofC CSSA.

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