I Hope

Wednesday, February 19, 2020 - 7:21pm

A woman walks on a street in Macau, China wearing a protective mask during coronavirus outbreak

A woman walks on a street in Macau, China wearing a protective mask during coronavirus outbreak Buy this photo
Macau Photo Agency via Unsplash

When I called my mom last week, she said: “You should not come back at this moment. Stay safe and stay warm.”  I knew how much they miss me as I haven’t been home for a year. 

 

A home I can’t come back and a family can’t reunion. That’s how coronavirus separated thousands of families in China. 

 

68,500 is the number who got infected by coronavirus, and 1,665 is the number of deaths caused by coronavirus, with the oldest aged 89 and the youngest aged 1 months. What people read from the news are just emotionless numbers, but beneath those numbers are those patients’ stories and sufferings. If people don’t know their helplessness, sadness and fear, they are just numbers.

 

Numbers can be emotionless, objective and calm. But humans can’t be.

 

The 7-month-old baby girl is just ready to see the beautiful view in the world while coronavirus attacked her. All her family members got infected. She, on her own, stays in the ICU. Every breath she takes is a fight to her fate. The beautiful and sweet angel is taking the biggest challenge in her life.

 

Will she grow up safe and sound?

 

I hope.

 

A 90-year-old woman kneels to beg the doctors to save her 65-year-old son who is dying because of coronavirus. 

 

“Please stay alive, my boy.” Her sight can’t leave her son until they shut the door of the ward. 

 

The long goodbye. 

 

Will the son see his mother again?

 

I hope.

 

An eight-year-old boy was left home alone because his parents are doctors who were sent to help in Wuhan. While others are busy blaming his irresponsible parents, what they don’t know is how desperate and difficult the situation is, causing  his parents to make this choice. But there are thousands of children at their son’s age, screaming and begging, waiting for doctors to save their lives. At that moment, their identities were not just parents, but also doctors.  Do they worry about their own son? Of course, they do. Do they ever have a choice? No, they don’t.

 

“I never consider myself as noble. It just I have never become a deserter in my life and neither did this time,” his father said.

 

Will his parents come back soon?

 

I hope.

 

While on the other side of the world, another fear attacked the Chinese, or more broadly, Asians.

 

As long as people who have yellow skin, black eyes and black hair, and as long as they wear face masks to protect themselves, they are considered to be people who carry coronavirus and they get attacked because of how they look.

 

“We don’t accept Chinese customers for Coronavirus.” An announcement of a nail salon in the United States.

 

“Chinese kids should stay home and isolated.” An Australia back-to-school plea. 

 

“Coronavirus is made in China.” A headline of a German newspaper. 

 

A German-Asian man got attacked by strangers just because he was Asian, but he hasn’t been back to China for almost thirty years.

 

A 13-year-old Chinese football player was cursed by his contestants, “I wish you got sick,” in a spring football match in Milan. He cried and left but was ignored by the judge.

 

What is wrong with this world?

 

Everyone can get sick, and people should never feel ashamed because they are sick.

 

On one side of the world, people were attacked by this virus; on other sides of the world, people were attacked by people. When it comes to disaster, the real fear is not the disaster itself but always to be humane. 

 

Virus kills life but racism kills mind.

 

The next time when I call my mom; I hope her answer is “It's time for you to come home.” The 7-month-old baby could open her eyes to see the world. The 65-year-old man could embrace his mother. The eight-year-old boy could stay with his parents. And, every Asian living abroad could have a normal and peaceful life.

 

And I hope all this will happen in the near future.