Letters: Ban flights from China, before it’s too late

Dear Editor,

I am a Chinese Canadian living in Canada for more than 30 years now.

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My question for the government is this: If China is locking down its own cities, jeopardizing its global economy, just to contain the novel coronavirus, then why does the Canadian government still allow Chinese nationals from the epicentre of this outbreak, or anyone that recently visited China, to travel freely in Canada?

If this virus gets loose, is Canada more prepared than any other country, and is it willing to sacrifice the medical teams and infrastructure it took years to train.

Is it willing to build more hospitals just to contain the virus? Is it willing to lock down cities and risk its economy? If this virus, for which we have no cure, is easily transmissible, extreme measures must be taken. It’s definitely not a time for humanitarianism or hospitality.

This is not a racial issue but a crisis that will affect everyone. Viruses are not prejudiced and will attack anyone who is vulnerable.

Our family and loved ones are here and our children have adapted well to Canadian culture and values, and speak exclusively English. If this virus goes wild, not only will Chinese Canadians become possible victims of the disease, we will also become targets of hate, given this virus originated in China. We will be blamed, even though many of us have never set foot in China.

Every Chinese Canadian I have talked to is in favour of banning all flights from China. Singapore, a Chinese-run government, banned all flights from China even before the U.S. did. Hong Kongers protested to get full closures of their border with China.

Now Hong Kong is demanding a mandatory 14-day quarantine for anyone coming from China.

No one wants to see their loved ones suffer or perish due to this crisis, as it will become a lifetime of agony indeed. Please re-consider banning anyone who recently visited China or enacting a mandatory quarantine for anyone coming from there.

After all, the safety of the Canadian people should be the top priority of the government and is more important than foreign affairs. Time is of the essence, Canada should act now before it’s too late.

David Co


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