WASHINGTON – While the past year’s battle with COVID-19 has been grueling for health care workers across America, the challenge has been compounded for Asian medical professionals, who have also had to work amid a wave of pandemic-inspired anti-Asian attacks.
“The past year, it was just so many different mixed emotions between the pandemic… [and] issues regarding racial injustice. All that put together made last year very different from other years,” said Austin Chiang, a doctor whose parents emigrated from Taiwan to the U.S. 10 years before he was born in Irvine, California.
On the same day that six Asian American women were slain with two other individuals in Atlanta last week, the advocacy group Stop AAPI Hate released a report that cited 3,795 hate incidents targeting Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders between March 19, 2020, and Feb. 28, 2021.
More than 500 of the incidents were recorded since the beginning of this year.
COVID-19 was first detected in humans in Wuhan, China, in late 2019. Spreading globally since then, it has felled more than 548,000 people in the U.S., where there have been more than 30 million confirmed cases, according to the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center.
Not gonna lie — given recent events, I walked a little faster to get home and avoided eye contact with anyone. #StopAsianHateCrimes
— Austin Chiang, MD MPH (@AustinChiangMD) March 17, 2021
In 16 of the most populous U.S. cities, attacks on Asian Americans…