As soon as a young Asian woman got on the New York City subway this week, another commuter covered her own face with her scarf.
This isn't the first time that Asian people have reported feeling targeted or stigmatised because of coronavirus fears. The disease is currently sweeping the world. And an unfortunate side effect is that Asian people (in particular) feel like it's making white people (in particular) very racist.
To get her own back on this woman, Twitter user Min (@princessmin_c) decided to see what she would do if she pretended to cough into her elbow.
Sure enough, the unidentified woman looked up as she was scrolling through her phone to spy the source of the cough. So Min pretended to cough again and, to be honest, this it the kind of pettiness we can respect.
This time, the woman using her scarf as a makeshift face mask looked up and mumbled something through the fabric.
I’m sorry? Say it again? I can’t hear when you’re covering your mouth.
Retreating, the woman got up and walked further down the carriage.
Min then posted a video of the exchange to Twitter:
In follow-up tweets, she also went on to explain that the unidentified woman wasn’t covering her mouth with her scarf “when she was sitting with the other white folks” so why did she do it as soon as she saw Min?
She then tweeted to explain that the woman covered her face as soon as she saw her. It must have been awful to be on the receiving end of such apparent prejudice.
While almost 250,000 people liked the original tweet and almost 50,000 people retweeted it, Min also received a lot of abuse.
Feel so down because of all the nasty hate messages I’ve been getting. I didn’t expect this to happen and definitely did not want this kind of attention.
But then lots of people rushed to her support:
Stay strong, Min. You’re doing amazing, sweetie.