Thomas Ramsey is an English teacher at China Three Gorges University
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It’s not a good time to finger point during the pandemic, especially discriminate against Chinese and its country due to fear and ignorance. Instead, the world should work together to combat the crisis, said a US teacher who has witnessed China’s battle against COVID-19 over the past two months in Hubei province.
At a time when China and its people face groundless accusations and stigmatizations, Thomas Ramsey who teaches at Three Gorges University’s School of Foreign Languages in the city of Yichang in Hubei province decided not to sit by but to speak up. “Let the authorities do their due diligence after this virus is under control so that we can prevent it in the future, but it never was a China Virus,” he said.
“I was getting a little sick and tired of seeing officials, especially in the US, pointing their fingers at China,” said Ramsey. “It’s not a ‘Chinese Virus’, it’s a virus that knows no borders. Stop blaming China.”
Thomas Ramsey first came to Yichang in 2010 and had since become attached to the city which is about five hours’ drive from Wuhan, which suffered most in China during the epidemic. Yichang closed all its exits on Jan 25 due to the then severe coronavirus outbreak.
“It’s a tough decision,” said Ramsey. “But it was the right decision.” According to him, the quarantine measures were necessary strategies that had to be adopted to save lives. He chose to stay in the campus and “has been treated with nothing but respect during the epidemic”. With good coordination in the university, he was able to “lay back, catch up on his reading, exercise and get the house cleaned”.
Meanwhile, he marveled at the deeds of many courageous Chinese people, including doctors, nurses, police, governmental officials, who rushed out to the front line to guarantee people’s safety. “They put their lives on the line for the rest of us,” he said.
Having spent nearly a decade living and working in China, Ramsey has been fed up with some western media’s tricks to “put a wrong picture of what China and the Chinese people really are”, which could amount to more ignorance. Ramsey stressed that it’s the fear and ignorance which commonly hide behind ideological views that lead to discrimination.
If certain US officials continue to blindly blame China without actually making the attempt to understand China, “you’re making yourselves and the country look really bad.” He believes the only way to break prejudices down is to continue to have open exchanges, dialogue and build mutual trust.
Instead of judging through quick impressions, Ramsey said one has to come and see the country firsthand.
“Let’s try and work together as a people on this planet for a change, rather than putting each other down and ripping everybody apart,” Ramsey said. “That serves no purpose at all.” The United States and China are so interconnected to be always fighting against each other, he noted.