China’s markets are back under the world’s microscope as images from Dongguan Market have gone viral on the internet, raising concerns about the origination of the virus and China’s role there.
China has decided to end lockdown procedures and encourage citizens to get their lives back on track, which is a far cry from where the United States is right now.
This is being met with harsh criticism, as may believe that China is at fault for the start of the virus in the first place, and its resuming to business as usual is a global threat.
When you step into Dongguan Market, you’ll once again see “a medicine seller getting back to business with a sign advertising bats, cats and dogs stuffed into cages, and ducks and rabbits skinned next to one another on a floor covered with guts”.
Market vendors are simply going back to their normal day to day business procedures as they had been doing before the virus, but this has brought about harsh criticism and xenophobia from the rest of the world looking in. China’s correspondent for The Mail responded to the criticism, stating,
“Everyone here believes the outbreak is over and there’s nothing to worry about any more. It’s just a foreign problem now as far as they are concerned. The markets have gone back to operating in exactly the same way as they did before coronavirus. The only difference is that security guards try to stop anyone taking pictures which would never have happened before”.
Clearly, they are concerned with the fact that European and American journalists are looking for bait that China is to blame for the pandemic. These outlets are also very quick to criticize Chinese cultural practices, which adds another layer of complexity to this pandemic.
This highlights the racial elements of discourse surrounding COVID-19. The internet runs rampant with theories as to how the virus originated as well as who is responsible for its spread.
Experts have decided that Wuhan’s markets in China were the first outbreak of the virus, but China is pushing back against this and is publically campaigning that the virus actually originated in Italy during the fall of last year. China also says that the United States army is responsible for bringing the virus into China.
The role of racial and national conflict in this crisis cannot be underestimated. While everyone looks to place blame on one country or another, there is no stopping COVID-19 without global cooperation and teamwork. Stopping the spread and flattening the curve should be a global effort, not just a national one.