The hysteria surrounding the Coronavirus pandemic, could extend well beyond scarcity of toilet paper and hand sanitizer. Crime could increase (even more than we are already seeing) and here’s how:
Xenophobia and Racism
When the media began it’s coverage of Coronavirus, they chose images of Asians to accompany these stories. As a result, as fear mounted about this novel virus, so did the public’s association of it with Asians. Stories began to spring up around the world, about Asians being subjected to xenophobic and racist attacks: being sprayed with febreeze on a NYC subway, stabbed multiple times by an unknown assailant, and attacked by a group in the streets of London. "It is so painful to see the level of stigma we are observing," Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the WHO director-general, stated.
As the world’s leadership began to strongly advise people to self quarantine, a massive chunk of people were left out of the conversation: those who couldn’t self quarantine. Why? It is because they are homeless. In Los Angeles, the city with one of the largest homeless populations in the United States, homeless families began to take up unoccupied homes and properties in the city. These homeless mothers feared for their lives and the health of their children in the shadow of coronavirus.
Guns sales have increased
One industry that is booming in this shaky Covid-19 climate, is the gun industry. Sales in guns have increased dramatically, with lines at gun stores comparable to that of grocery stores. The reason these people (a lot of whom are first-time gun buyers), are purchasing guns at this time is unknown. Some say it is for increased protection for their families, but what about the others in line? With small businesses closed and buildings unoccupied, fears are emerging about increased robberies and violence.
People have more free time
For years researchers have been trying to understand the correlation between the summer and increased crime rates in cities. A study released by the University of Southern California found that crime more than doubled when the temperature increased over 85 degrees in Los Angeles. What does that have to do with coronavirus? Well, some suggest that during the summer people have more free time and therefore more opportunity for trouble. With schools closed, people out of work, people will have more free time. Hopefully concerns over health and safety keep everyone indoors and focused on what really matters: getting through this.
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