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How to stop the spread of racism during the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak

This Canadian short aims to curb coronavirus-related xenophobia, but its message is universal.

How to stop the spread of racism during the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak

The symptoms of coronavirus to watch out for are fever, cough, shortness of breath, and an increase in xenophobia. As the virus has spread, so too have incidents of racism against Asians, and a rise in people avoiding Chinese restaurants and Asian-owned businesses.

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In an effort to raise awareness and push back, the Chinese Canadian National Council for Social Justice worked with Toronto-based agency The Hive on “Stop The Spread,” a campaign that includes handing out bottles of branded hand sanitizer on the streets of Toronto. Sure, the sanitizer keeps your hands clean, but it’s really aimed at getting people to consider their actions and attitude toward the Asian community.

“Globally, xenophobia and racism towards Chinese and other Asian communities have been on a rapid rise since the outbreak of the novel coronavirus,” says Amy Go, interim national president of the Chinese Canadian National Council for Social Justice in a statement. “This upswing of racism closely mirrors the racism experienced by Chinese in Canada during the 2003 SARS outbreak, and must be confronted.”

With reports of coronavirus-related racism also increasing in major American cities this week, this attitude sanitizer needs an international distributor.

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About the author

Jeff Beer is a staff editor at Fast Company, covering advertising, marketing, and brand creativity. He lives in Toronto.

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