Corona virus

The recent outbreak of the Corona virus has brought out people's ugly side as well as the good side. Some people have taken advantage of the situation to make large profits by selling face masks and hand sanitizers with marked-up prices. Others found the excuse to show foul racist behavior. Certain things I can still somewhat understand, like the woman who covered her whole face and I mean everything, her eyes, nose, and mouth, with a flyer in such a way that I worried if she could still breath and wouldn't stumble over something, while she walked past me. Or the 6 year old, who pulled down the roof of the baby stroller, he was in, as soon as he saw me (not sure how that could block anything, but whatever, if that makes him feel safer).

What I cannot understand is the Dutch guy, who sang in a loud voice, outside of the drugstore he saw me enter, about how the face masks and hand sanitizers were out of stock and taunted that I was out of luck, the whole time I was in the store, and he also made sure the whole street outside heard that (almost like a campaign bus). To be honest, I wasn't even thinking of getting any of those items. This whole time, I have only dressed myself warmly, kept my immune system at the best state by eating and sleeping well, and washing my hands with soap thoroughly and frequently. That should be enough. I don't know if being bullied my whole life has made me numb for it, but I was able to block out most of that loud song and the taunting. I almost didn't hear the "tsk" sound of disapproval that a woman, standing close to me, made, which totally brightened my day. I am not used to getting help and having people stand by my side, as since I was a small child, everybody thought my moving eyes were creepy and stayed far away from me. If anything bad happened, it was my fault, and even if I was right, nobody chose my side. People harmed me in thousand ways whenever nobody was watching, but I was never believed. I didn't even want to have anything to do with people, as I cannot get disappointed and hurt, if I never even expect anything from others to begin with. But that small act of disapproval of that woman, that I didn't know, have restored my faith in people for a little bit. Another Dutch, elderly woman actually touched my arm and told me in a supermarket that she loved the wool hat that I was wearing (I totally didn't see that coming, so it really startled me). I hope I could be such a person to others too (even though having too much faith, almost makes you forget that there are bad people out there as well). You really don't need to do something big and courageous to be a hero.

However, I was also targeted by a group of youngsters, who yelled profanities at me, like f-ck you and dirty virus. Although they made threatening motions and sounds, I was able to avoid confrontation by crossing the street. A few days later, I was followed by a small kid on a bike for a whole street, while he kept insulting me (strangely, all alone and without a guardian or friends by his side), and I thought about trying a different approach. Being from marginalized groups, who are accused of being criminals, terrorists, or strange and bad people even if they do nothing, I thought they should be able to understand this situation. Instead of walking away, I stood still. In my mind, I started pondering about what I could do and say. I am so used to people, who are so brainwashed and programmed, that no matter what I do or say and no matter how long I wait for the truth to come out, could not be convinced otherwise, that I didn't have the patience and energy to deal with it anymore. But I am in a better place now. I no longer freak out at the slightest sound and touch. I also don't have to turn into a violent and angry hulk, just to be able to protect myself. I no longer have to play along to all kinds of mind games to avoid people putting me in bad light. I don't have to jump hoops to fit in and get accepted. I don't have to work ten times as hard, be ten times as smart, and be ten times as kind to be seen and treated as a normal person. I also noticed that my words matter and do change things (maybe not as much as I wish). I gained the confidence over the years that I am capable of calmly and patiently convincing him that I am not a threat. I have not been abroad this year and I have not been in close contact with people who were. I am used to (prefer) staying far away from people and I have no symptoms. But when I finally turned around, I found out that he was no longer behind me.                   

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