Chen-ou Liu's Translation Project: First English-Chinese Haiku and Tanka Blog

Friday, April 3, 2020

The World Smaller and The Distance Colder

dark emptiness
of tree-lined streets
Wuhan Metro

coronavirus …
this snowy silence
of Asian tourists

Early this morning, Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health issued an Extreme Cold Weather Alert. On my way to the subway station, I see a group of Chinese Canadians in hazmat suits giving out customized hand sanitizers. I take one and read the bold-font messages on its back: "ignorance has reached epidemic proportions" and "stop the spread of racism." Is it is possible to stop toxic behavior with the correct message? Before I figure out the answer, the screeching subway derails my train of thought.