Destigmatizing Chinese Communities in the face of 2019-nCoV: Emergency Management Actions to Address Social Vulnerability in Toronto and Nairobi
Chinese communities around the world are facing impacts to their personal wellbeing and livelihoods by way of discrimination and Sinophobia (anti-Chinese sentiment) due to COVID‑19 disease (formally 2019-nCoV). By performing rapid response research, we can better understand social and policy countermeasures to mitigate the threats communities face from this and future Public Health Emergencies of International Concern (PHEIC). This project focuses on the research area of social and policy countermeasures. Specifically, cultural dimensions of the epidemic such as examining how individuals and communities understand and react to the disease along with tailoring a response to the unique circumstances of different populations will be the foci of this project. Our research team will: 1) examine how Chinese diaspora communities in large urban centres globally, namely in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA or Toronto herein), Canada and Nairobi, Kenya are understanding and reacting to the novel coronavirus by studying social impacts and coping strategies. 2) engage with vulnerable groups (children, women, elderly, etc.) within Chinese communities using participatory action research approaches to counter misinformation about COVID‑19 and share emergency management and public health practices and resources relevant to the health crisis. 3) share findings with emergency management professionals in both countries and collaboratively develop a culturally-specific public education campaign to support efforts to destigmatize Chinese communities during the COVID‑19 PHEIC in both Toronto and Nairobi. 4) use social media and knowledge sharing events to educate the broader community on the true impact of misinformation, disinformation, stigma and fear, with the hope that this will improve community cohesion during the outbreak phase, in recovery, and for future resilience.