COVID-19 Divides Country

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CDC

Xena Duly, Staff Writer

COVID-19, also known as the coronavirus, is slowly tearing the nation apart as it unravels the delicate seams that were providing a semblance of unity before this global disaster.

As soon as the virus broke out, the discrimination against Asians rose significantly as they were harassed in public places and labeled derogatory terms by bigots online and in real life. Racial Slurs like “Kung Flu” are gaining traction on social media platforms and there seems to be no shortage of them. The President has encouraged this alienation by labeling the coronavirus as the “Chinese Virus,” placing the blame for the illness solely on the shoulders of the Chinese.

This division is not only occurring between races, but age and social classes as well. The deadly outbreak has led to rising tension between generations as terms like “BoomerRemover” began to trend on Twitter, a reference to the high mortality rate the virus has among the older generation. The morbid joke has placed further strain among the relationship between generations, as it capitalized among the growing popularity expressing the young generation’s frustrations with boomers that had already started last fall with the hashtag, “OkBoomer.” Their retaliation came in the backlash against the college students who continued to go out and party during spring break, completely ignoring the dangers of doing so. Now several of the partiers have come down with the virus. The generations were already colliding in a dangerous way and this illness only further exacerbates this divide.

Another source of tension is the growing economic gap caused by the unemployment rate due to the virus. More and more blue-collar workers are being laid off while white-collar workers are able to keep their salaried jobs and work in the safety of their homes. This is inspiring outrage among uninsured, hourly workers who fear the effects of this economic issue as they are forced to evaluate the implications of what their position in society means for their lives and the lives of their loved ones.

While this virus may not be the direct cause of most of these fractures, it reveals the nature of humanity to turn against one another in times of crisis in order to deflect the blame for the problem rather than to find a solution to the issue, something we should all be trying to do right now.