Language | MORNING ENGLISH

Let's discuss the reaction to the coronavirus

This week’s featured article

BLOOMBERG

Airlines halt flights from China. Schools in Europe uninvite exchange students. Restaurants in South Korea turn away Chinese customers.

As a deadly virus spreads beyond China, governments, businesses and educational institutions are struggling to find the right response. Safeguarding public health is a priority. How to do that without stigmatizing the entire population of the country where the outbreak began is the challenge.

With the death toll reaching 170 and the roster of cases climbing above 7,700, worries are growing. Many global companies with operations in China have asked workers to stay home, airlines are curtailing flights to the nation and several countries including Japan have begun evacuating citizens from the most stricken zone around the city of Wuhan.

Though the vast majority of cases involve people from the central Chinese metropolis or nearby cities, or those who have been in contact with them, people of Asian appearance around the world say they’ve been subject to increased wariness since the disease began spreading. In some cases, baser emotions have come to the fore.

A Chinese woman visiting Ito, Shizuoka Prefecture, said that a server at a restaurant shouted “Chinese! Out!” at her, according to a recording shared on a Weibo account.

The recording, which included a subsequent phone call to the unnamed eatery, was shared by a reporter from Hong Kong-based Phoenix TV.

A woman who answered the phone at the restaurant said it was refusing customers from China and Southeast Asia because the owner was worried about the coronavirus, according to the recording. “If our owner contracts the virus and dies, whose responsibility is it then?” she said.

In South Korea, signs have begun popping up on restaurant windows saying, “no Chinese allowed.” A casino in the country catering to foreign visitors said it’s no longer accepting groups of tourists from China. More than half a million people signed a petition, submitted to the government, calling for a ban on visitors from the nearby country of 1.4 billion.

First published in The Japan Times on Jan. 30.

Warm up

One minute chat about your worries.

Game

Collect words related to health e.g., hospital, illness, life, exercise.

New words

1) stigmatize: regard with disgrace, e.g., “The proposed law stigmatizes victims of sexual assault.”

2) roster: a list of people’s names, often with tasks they’ve been assigned, e.g., “Looking down the roster of duties, Max should be in charge of payments.”

3) evacuate: remove someone to a safe place, e.g. “The Australian police evacuated the town due to the approaching fires.”

Guess the headline

Chinese tourists find they are not wel_ _ _ _ as fear over co_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ takes hold

Questions

1) What is happening to Chinese tourists?

2) What caused this situation?

3) What kinds of discrimination are they experiencing?

Let’s discuss the article

1) What do you think about this news?

2) How can we avoid the virus without discriminating against people?

3) What do you do to stay healthy?

Reference

世界的な新型肺炎の危機は多くの人々に恐怖と不安を与え、その結果として感染元とされる地域の人々に感染予防措置か差別なのか線引きが難しい対応がとられる状況すら生み出しています。

市外への移動が制限されている人々がいることを考えると必要な予防だとも考えられる一方で、見た目だけでウイルスを保持していると判断するのは、差別的行為と見受けられるでしょう。

新しいウイルスの脅威に負けないように対策を取りつつ、必要以上に閉鎖的な態度とならないようにする線引きは、どこにしたらいいのでしょうか。朝英語の会に参加し皆さんで話し合ってみましょう。

「朝英語の会」、はじめてみませんか?

「朝英語の会」とは、お友達や会社の仲間とThe Japan Timesの記事を活用しながら、楽しく英語が学べる朝活イベントです。この記事を教材に、お友達や会社の仲間を集めて、「朝英語の会」を立ち上げませんか? 朝から英字新聞で英語学習をする事で、英語を話す習慣が身に付き、自然とニュースの教養が身につきます。
「朝英語の会」の立ち上げ、もしくは参加に興味がある方はこちらまで。
株式会社ジャパンタイムズ「 朝英語の会」運営事務局
Phone: 03-3453-2337 (平日10:00 – 18:00)
email: info@club.japantimes.co.jp | http://jtimes.jp/asaeigo

Coronavirus banner