Nurse says Coronavirus misinformation leads to racial misgivings

By Bronson Perich

A registered nurse of Asian descent, who has lived more than half her life in Auckland, has said that the misinformation surrounding Coronavirus has led to racial misgivings about her ethnic community.

"What is spreading faster than the Coronavirus? It is misinformation."

The 36-year-old, who graduated with a Bachelor of Nursing from Auckland University, said half-truths reported on Coronavirus have created public anxiety.

Vivien Ye recounts the strange experience she had when trying to buy protein powder from a chemist. Without asking what she wanted, the shopkeeper greeted her with:

“We don't have any masks and hand sanitisers.”

The shopkeeper was Asian, and Ye told this story to show that NZ-based Asians are anxious about this deadly virus.

Ye moved to Aotearoa when she was 16, when her widowed father remarried. She went to Papatoetoe High School and then ended up working as a nurse in the UK and Australia.

Coming back to Auckland about a year ago, Ye said that she considers NZ home.

Her nursing background means that both family and clients have asked her for tips and advice on how to beat Coronavirus.

She has been asked to confirm the effectiveness of such remedies as hot water, garlic juice or soup and ultraviolet lights.

"People, potentially, could try to do a home remedy and injure themselves," she explains.

Having recently graduated from Comedy College, Ye’s medical experience has given her ample material to use on stage.

In regards to the effectiveness of drinking water at 50 degrees centigrade, the part-time comedian says:

“It would probably kill you and the virus!”

Ye maintains that since there is no cure for the disease, personal hygiene and health are key to fighting Coronavirus.

"People that are asthmatic, or they have pre-existing health conditions, they need to be extra careful, especially when they are out."

Despite the racism, Ye harbours no ill-feeling towards her home country of 20 years.

"New Zealand, even though it's not perfect, it's the most perfectly imperfect country to me in the world."