Compassion not hate

There’s the other side of the emotional outburst amidst the ongoing health crisis brought to fore by the dreaded Wuhan coronavirus. While many Filipinos rushed to urge the government, even blaming its perceived delayed action and response, to ban Chinese from entering the country, there is also an opposite view to this knee jerk reaction.

It came by way of a post on social media which may have been omitted by most Filipinos who were too caught up in the panic.

It says: “Filipinos are asking why the government hasn’t banned the Chinese from entering our country. I’ll tell you why.

It’s not about misplaced diplomacy or tourism. It’s about humanity (and a little bit of geopolitics of course)!

More than half of the population in Europe died during the Black Death. Others fled to neighboring countries and survived thanks to strangers who welcomed them despite the peril of getting infected as well. The most humanitarian thing the Philippines and other countries should do is don’t ban the flights but when they arrive, quarantine them as long as it takes. Find a cure and heal the sick. If you find it hard to grasp, think of it this way. What if a fatal, incurable plague originates in the Philippines but the other nations close their borders and won’t help us, what will you do? Remember, they are scared as much as we are.

And before you say you hate the Chinese, may I remind you that you’re reading this thru a smartphone made and assembled by a Chinese company, while you’re wearing clothing made in China. Last week you celebrated Chinese New Year and indulged in Chinese-inspired cuisine. You believe in Chinese zodiac and feng shui (sic). You can’t even stay up late coz you have to be early for work tomorrow otherwise, your Chinese-Filipino boss will fire you and now you can’t make gala to Chinese-owned malls and restos… xxx “

This kind of view and reaction is not only biblical but humane. Instead of avoiding a particular race or people like plague, Filipinos can deal with the situation with sobriety and prudence. Filipinos and Chinese are related in many sense. Australia has sent an example by trying to develop the technology and sharing it with other countries. 

There are many diseases caused by even more deadly virus, HIV to begin with, and there are even growing cases involving Filipinos. 

Yet we are not avoided like plague.