It has been referred to as the “shadow pandemic” in Canada. As COVID-19 indiscriminately touches people in large communities and small households, it has brought another kind of virus – one that does discriminate – to the doorsteps of only some Canadians.
That virus is racism. Across the country, assaults, verbal threats, graffiti and worse – all directed at people of Chinese (and other East Asian) descent – have been reported since the pandemic was declared.
Now, in the first study of its kind since the pandemic was declared, new data from the non-profit Angus Reid Institute in partnership with the University of Alberta reveals the experiences and emotions of those directly affected.
Results from this survey of more than 500 Canadians of Chinese ethnicity underscore the extent and depth to which they have been exposed to discriminatory behaviours, and the effect on their own sense of self and belonging in this country. Read more…
Catherine Porter, The New York Times, Updated June 12, 2020
That Tuesday in March was the day Bonnie Henry had been preparing for her whole life.
Overnight, 83 people had tested positive for the novel coronavirus and three more had died. The pandemic had officially broken out in British Columbia.
Standing inside the provincial legislature’s press gallery, the preternaturally calm top doctor of Canada’s westernmost province declared a public health emergency. Under her orders and recommendations, schools closed, bars shuttered and social distancing measures were put in place. Read more…
Craig Takeuchi, The Georgia Straight, June 5th, 2020
Many experts predicted that British Columbia would be one of the hardest-hit regions in Canada, if not North America, during the pandemic.
In an in-depth profile of B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry in the New York Times today (June 5), Toronto infection control epidemiologist Colin Furness was quoted as saying that “by all rights, British Columbia should have been clobbered.”
However, he credited the fast action taken by health officials and Dr Henry’s communication skills.
But as the pandemic developed across the world, some of the locations closest to China have maintained some of the lowest case counts, while the most troubling hotspots have been farther away. Read more…
Charlie Smith, The Georgia Straight, June 4th, 2020
B.C.’s provincial health officer has shown that visitors from China are not the main cause of a public health problem that has caused widespread economic hardship.
In presentation touching on epidemiology and genomics, Dr Bonnie Henry demonstrated that the primary source of COVID-19 infections in B.C. came from travellers from Europe, Eastern Canada, and Washington state.
She showed this with a series of charts featuring different colours. They represented strains of the virus from different regions. Read more…
In recent decades, much of Vancouver’s Chinese community has moved to areas such as Richmond and Burnaby, which has led some to ask, “Why preserve Chinatown?”
But at a special forum hosted by The Current’s Matt Galloway at Floata Seafood Restaurant in the heart of the historic neighbourhood, prominent Vancouver entrepreneur Carol Lee argues it is an essential part of Canadian history.
“If it were any other part of Canadian history, I don’t think we would even be asking that question,” says Lee, founder of the Vancouver Chinatown Foundation, who also opened the popular Chinatown BBQ, a restaurant aimed at revitalizing the neighbourhood through food. Read more
Last week I openly pined for more Lazy Susans in Vancouver’s restaurant scene. I just love the things and wish they were more common. While the convenient turntable-on-table’s origins are a matter of the historical record, I much prefer this fantastical take by filmmakers Ian Kibbey and Corey Creasey. They tell a much different (and better) story.
As a born and bred Hong-Konger, going to yum cha with my family every Sunday is an important tradition that has lasted many generations. Here, stories old and new are recounted over a table full of bamboo baskets that hold a variety of dim sum – small bites that encompass everything from delicately translucent prawn dumplings and silky rice rolls to molten lava custard buns and sweet roasted pork buns.
Literally meaning ‘drink tea’ in Cantonese, yum cha is as common a meal in Hong Kong as coffee and toast in Western culture, where Chinese tea is enjoyed with dim sum at traditional tea houses. Dating back to ancient China, teahouses have long been a place of rest and conversations for the common people. Read more…