Chinese international students in UK institutions are flying home amidst racial profiled attacks alias maskaphobia.
Some of the students have already fled back to China with others trying to secure flights which have reduced dismally all the same charging inflated prices. Some learners are opting to book services of jets to fly to China.
Tao Wang, a Ph.D. student from Manchester says he is in disbelief on how hard the United Kingdom has been hit by Covid–19. Tao says that Chinese international student groups in Europe now believe they could be much safer at home than in the United Kingdom, with their families piling pressure on them to go back home.
According to Wang, despite the huge outbreak of Coronavirus in the UK, the government is yet to instill draconian measures, with only soft measures like asking washing of hands.
Racial attacks on Chinese international students for wearing masks
More Chinese international students have reported racial fueled attacks on them due to Coronavirus originating from Chinese Wuhan. Yixian Huang, studies sociology at London University, says the reported attacks were in association with “maskaphobia”, the fear of wearing masks which then fuels attacks based on racial profiling.
The victims were insulted with names such as ‘virus’ while being pulled and shoved for donning protective masks.
Most international students think that these masks are the largest culture shock that people are going through in the UK, and now they are left to grapple with two nerve-wracking options, coronavirus attack and fear from racial attacks.
A 24-year-old Chinese postgraduate, from Manchester University, says as they crisscrossed London, a vehicle pulled over near them and the driver rolled down the window, coughed at them, and laughed as he sped off. Most Chinese international students are facing discrimination which is negatively impacting their abroad studying experience.
Students staying indoors for fear of racial attacks
Most of the Chinese international students are now preferring to stay indoors and order online delivery of food due to racial fueled attacks on them by the native Londoners. According to Tao Wang, most Chinese opt to study abroad in places like the United Kingdom because they believe the country shares values of tolerance, diversity, and justice. However, in the wake of the Covid–19 pandemic, diversity seems to be downplayed.
Wang wonders why Chinese international students would spend a lot of money to travel many miles away for study, only to get attacked on the basis of their race or wearing a protective mask.
Featured image credits: The Guardian