The virus is bad, but humans are worse

Not that I’m downplaying how bad the virus is

Ken Dow ✈️
4 min readOct 15, 2020


I get it — COVID is bad. Especially here in the US where despite spending the most on healthcare and having the most sophisticated citizen tracking tools, the numbers are still atrocious and getting worse day by day.

The case count and the death count is the highest in the world — even if you control by population size, things still don’t look that much better.

Obviously, some of this is self induced and caused by people themselves. People can socially distance better. People can actually follow quarantine orders. People can wear masks. For sure, if people just did these things just a little bit better, we’d be in a much better place than where we are.

But, people don’t deserve the full blame. This is, after all, a natural pathogen and has been biologically optimized to inflict damage and be as widespread as possible.

All the other bad things that people have been doing over the course of the COVID crisis — there’s absolutely no excuse for that. All the violence and hate that has happened over this last year — bad people are fully to blame for that.

Here’s just a brief summary of all the unnecessary hate that humans have been creating.

Racist violence against Asians up significantly

Let me just be honest with you — Being Asian during this COVID crisis has just been really damn hard. Probably way harder than you might imagine —Asians have had the worst unemployment impact, the worst mortality outcomes, and then the daily discrimination and violence…

It seems like every other day, there’s a new report about violence acts against Asians. Just a snippet of headlines I’ve seen in just the last few weeks:

Needless to say, it’s still not okay to beat someone even if he was Chinese.

This reminds me that as fragmented as Asians are — this is really a time for all Asians to put their differences and come together. Regardless of how different we may think we are from each other, the reality is that the rest of the world will always treat us as one monolithic block.

Domestic violence is up

Beyond the horrific and violent targeting of crimes against Asians, domestic violence is up everywhere.

Nowhere are we safe from violence — even when you’re at home, a place we’re supposed to be safe. Domestic violence cases are estimated to be up 20%.

To give you a sense of how big these numbers are, there are estimates coming in saying that there may be 15 MILLION more cases of partner violence this year compared to the last year.

These are our family members — the people we’re in theory supposed to love. They’re the people that are most supposed to support us and be supported by us during times of crisis. Now that the crisis is here, we respond with… violence?

Murder is up

If you’ve been seeing more stories of people in your city or state being murdered via homicide, the trend is real.

On average, homicides are up over 50% compared to last year. Read that again. That’s a really high number.

For all of you looking to turn this statistic into a political argument, it doesn’t matter how you cut the data — republican mayor vs democratic mayor, poor city vs rich city, coastal city vs non-coastal city — the numbers all suggest the same thing. Homicide is up everywhere.

I’m sure that financial stress has something to do with it. Just remember that we have two parties in office refusing to approve no-regret money that Americans need because they both want to score political points for their own team. Remember that — neither party gives a damn about you.

Where the hell is the humanity?