I have noted from time to time in these electrons the increase of incidents of cruelty and bigotry directed at persons (who look as if they might be) of Asian descent since stories of the coronavirus entered the news. As if a virus gave a damn . . . .
Valentina Stoycheva, writing at Psychology Today Blogs, examines how persons excuse themselves from culpability for their cruelty during such a health scare. An excerpt (emphasis added):
It follows from cognitive dissonance that if I treat a person of a different race poorly but want to tell myself I am a good person, this poses a problem. However, if I commit an absolutely unthinkable and demeaning act of hostility towards an Asian person during the Coronal outbreak and tell myself I am keeping myself and my family healthy, I can keep my racist biases deep in the unconscious and consciously still consider myself a good and caring human being. But a health crisis is more than an excuse, it is also a catalyst for prejudices due to the panic it creates.