7 ‘deadly plagues’ from China
With countries closing their borders, repatriating their citizens and stopping air flights to and from China, the world’s second largest economy now looks like a pariah among nations, an ailing dragon in intensive care, all because of a homegrown microscopic organism.
“A microbe versus a giant bully nation” was to be this piece’s topic and title, but I changed my mind. I opted for even stronger language.I am no racist or “sinophobe,” so if I am using harsh language here, it is to echo the sentiments of many Filipinos (including Chinese-Filipinos or “Tsinoys”) who are worried sick and angry. This is because of the Duterte administration’s servile and falling-all-over-themselves stance, if you may, toward China, or what some observers call a “China First Policy.”
Among Filipino citizens, there is a rising bias against Chinese nationals who have/had been coming in droves and bringing in with them—in a manner of speaking—plagues, pests, and pestilences.
You could balk at the “in a manner of speaking” as soft-pedaling because, indeed, we must admit that there is reason for these 3 Ps to be literally not far from the truth. “Plagues, pests, and pestilences”—it serves cadence and rhythm in language, and there is a biblical, apocalyptic ring to it. I am not being whimsical or facetious. The words also serve as a wake-up call.
Here, the “seven deadly plagues” from and by China that are bedeviling the Philippines: diseases (the 2019 novel coronavirus acute respiratory disease or nCoV ARD that is spreading across nations, SARS, etc.), gambling, prostitution, crime, drugs, kabastusan (rude behavior), and grabbing of Philippine territory. You can add more based on your own personal knowledge.
How the nCoV threat has been handled these recent weeks again exemplifies how our nation has sunk low in the eyes of the world and most especially in the eyes of the main protagonist, China, with its covetous, moist-eyed desire for our territories and, like a malevolent spirit, for the soul of our leaders.It is not racism when we ask Chinese nationals to stay away because of the nCoV. If their intention is to seek refuge, why, their country should be better in dealing with their own homegrown virus. Unlike the case of the Jewish and Vietnamese refugees whom we had hosted—whom bleeding hearts now hark back to—the Chinese are not being persecuted in their homeland.
It is not racism when we tell Chinese nationals who abuse their stay to go away and not come back. I agree that there should be no singling out on the basis of race, skin color, or surnames. But ask Grab drivers who pick up from newly sprouted casinos and brothels besotted Chinese, and who have to put up with vomit and malodorous feet on the dashboard.
It is not racism when we decry the preferential treatment given Chinese drug dealers and the burgeoning of casinos and prostitution dens that are exclusive for them.
When suspected nCoV carriers arrived in our territory from Wuhan in China where it spawned, the government’s hesitancy to act swiftly was so apparent that there was indeed cause to be furious. Only after the first nCoV in a woman from Wuhan was confirmed (and, later, the death of a man also from China) did Philippine officialdom categorically tell non-Filipino travelers from mainland China, Hong Kong, and Macau to remain where they are.
What about the Chinese patients under investigation (PUI) and quarantine? Who are paying for these PUIs’ hospital stay? So spontaneous of the Chinese ambassador to remind us to “take good care” of them PUIs. So spontaneous of the Chinese consul in Cebu to jump the gun and announce that there is no need to bar entry, prompting netizens to derisively call Cebu the new province of China.Filipinos are a compassionate lot, but…
Reports say the nCoV originated from a Wuhan wildlife market. A circulating report also says that “virus-hit Wuhan has two laboratories linked to Chinese bio-warfare program.” Sounds intriguing enough for a sci-fi movie script.
Watch Netflix’s “Pandemic” true-to-life docuseries and hail the scientists and health workers, the hidden heroes who put their own lives at risk.
[Send feedback to [email protected]]
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.