"Careful, he's Chinese." It was a throwaway comment whispered in a German pedestrian zone. But it joins a global chorus, and it raises an ugly thought: Has the coronavirus made us more racist? And if so, what's the vaccine?
From avoiding Chinese restaurants to banning Chinese travel groups, anecdotes of coronavirus "hypervigilance" — bordering on racism — are mounting. DW asked psychologist Joshua Tybur why and what the science says.
As the numbers of coronavirus infections and deaths rise, so do the number of reports of racism or xenophobia against Chinese people in Europe and the US. It's not the first time it's happened either.
Munich University researchers had claimed that the disease was spread in Germany by a completely symptom-free individual. Scientists have been criticized for publishing erroneous information under pressure.
Relations between Beijing and Canberra have been put under pressure with Australia's introduction of an anti-foreign interference bill and reports of a Chinese military base being planned in Vanuatu.
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