She is their disease

Written by Venus Aradhya, 15, Washington


Every sunrise she awakes to envelope in her scrubs

The scrubs she wears to the job which she loves

Although dangers restrict the safety of

Her health she places her passion above


Endlessly they come, tirelessly she stays

Mending, fixing, healing, seeing many pass away

Her head filled with images of the dead, peacefully they lay

As time runs beyond she loses hundreds each day


No family to reach out to for the disease they may convey

She’s their last sight, the last one to which they can say

Their dreams and hopes which death had mercilessly taken away

A few more moments to live they pray


She can’t let them go, she needs them to stay

While many have fallen, several sustain

Her hands are worn out, fingers in pain

All day, all night, in the hospital she persuades


With her hard work and refusal of defeat, many are saved

Families rejoice, thankful that they

Could see their loved ones once more out in the sun’s rays

All because she had determined and found a way


However, after hours when she enters the streets

Those of different races often retreat

Fearing for their lives as if she herself is a beast

Throwing racist comments and wary looks they sneak


What do they call her? They call her a disease

They name her after the very disease she treats

They blame her for its massacre and endless defeats

Pushing, abusing, and harassing with speech


She who spends her nights alone saving lives

Risking her own so they can leave with a smile

Yet she is torn down and put under the blame

For being the disease to which she cures is the same


Her skin, features, and ethnicity somehow define

What kind of person she is inside

Her origin is giving them a reason

To maul her and convict her of ‘treason’


While her and many others of her race

Have done nothing but protect those of the country they stay

While the people of the country in which she stays

Unfairly put her under the blame

Because she, she who spends her life helping those in need

To them, she herself is the disease



Authors note:

I wrote this poem after the string of racist attacks against people of East Asian heritage in America. These attacks against them were due to the COVID-19 disease which originated from China, so people blame East Asian immigrants, or those who are from there, of the disease. When I learnt about this, I was shocked that people would blame them for something like the disease. Just because their origin or ethnicity may be from that country, they can not be blamed for it as it is just where it started and many of them are US citizens and have lived here even before COVID-19 started, so to put the blame on them, it is completely insane.


After the BLM protests and police brutality against those who are black, to find another form of racism from the people of America to other citizens is so disappointing. Other breakouts of virus’ like the Swine flu, the Yellow fever, and The Spanish flu, have all originated from America but how often do you see people pushing and beating Americans for this? These citizens of our country go and harm other ones just because their race happens to be the same of the country from which the disease originated. Even if they have no correlation and have been following all precautions, they somehow get harassed.


Instead of harassing these people, instead if those American citizens can actually follow the correct precautions and social distancing measures without claiming trivial difficulties such as it’s ‘against their right’ or ‘taking away their freedom’ then maybe we could have decreased the growth and easily be happy right now like New Zealand and South Korea have. However, many decide to disregard these precautions and when the disease toll goes up, they blame the Chinese and hurt them- hurting them is not going to save lives.


I wrote this poem in the view of a Southeast Asian doctor. On the news, I had seen a story by a lady of Southeast Asian who talked about how patients shoved her or spat in her face because they refused to be cured by ‘a doctor who was the reason COVID was in America’. The correlation between COVID coming from China and those who are of Chinese ethnicity somehow being the reason behind it is just outrageous.


If people learned to stop hating each other and finally worked hard together to follow the practices, we would easily be past this point by now. The only reason we are stuck here is because of their disregard and impatience. Because of this, people who are following the procedures are paying for doing nothing. So we’ll stay here until people learn to finally look past race and look at the benefit of the human race. It’s only a matter of time until people wake up and smell the coffee, but until then, we’ll continue to suffer.

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