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‘Show up for people’: Associate Professor Carmen Logie on what’s fueling xenophobia amid the coronavirus outbreak

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The risk of catching the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in Canada many other countries remains low, but that hasn’t stopped fear from spreading – and xenophobia along with it.

Anti-Asian – and, often, anti-Chinese – sentiment is flaring up around the world in response to the outbreak. In Japan, the hashtag #ChineseDon’tComeToJapan was recently trending on Twitter. Meanwhile, in France, a newspaper printed the headline “Yellow Alert.”

Closer to home, a Chinese restaurant in Markham, Ont. reportedly lost business and received prank calls after a social media video and an entertainment website linked it to the virus.

Carmen Logie, an associate professor in the University of Toronto’s Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work, has seen negative stereotypes surface in response to illnesses before. A Canada Research Chair in Global Health Equity and Social Justice with Marginalized Populations, Logie has studied the impact of stigma in relation to illnesses such as the HIV/AIDS crisis.

She spoke to U of T News about the drivers of stigma and xenophobia connected with the coronavirus and other illnesses, and what can be done to counter the flood of misinformation and negative stereotypes.

> Click here to read the full Q & A by Geoffrey Vendevill via U of T News

(photo by Estelle Ruiz/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

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