Riz Ahmed lost two family members to Covid-19

The actor believes that certain governments are using the pandemic as an excuse to fuel xenophobia


Entertainment Desk April 28, 2020

British actor and rapper Riz Ahmed in a recent interview talked about how the coronavirus pandemic has become more personal to him, reported Comicbook.com. In the interview, Riz revealed that two of his family members have succumbed to the illness.

"Since we spoke I have lost two family members to Covid. I just want to believe their deaths and all the others aren’t for nothing. We gotta step up to reimagine a better future," he said.

While talking about the social implications of the pandemic, Riz noted that it has brought forth the real faces of people.“This moment is forcing people to take their masks off. You see more of someone in a moment like this – what they are about, who they are," he said.

The Venom star went on to add that such a situation making society as a whole redefine its priorities. " Crises accelerate trends that are taking place in society. We’re going to migrate to online living in a way that we could have done before but just didn’t. The seeds of that were already sown," he said.

"We’re accelerating towards a world of closed borders, a fear of the outsider, governments with sweeping powers. And equally, we’re accelerating towards the fact that the economy doesn’t come first. Lives come first. The planet comes first. Our general wellbeing comes first.”

While society is moving towards a more empathetic approach, Riz highlighted that certain governments are using it to fuel xenophobia.
"I’m seeing reports of India, where the government are calling it 'corona-jihad' and they’re trying to blame it on the spread of Muslims and they are segregating hospitals between Muslims and non-Muslims," Ahmed says.

"Trump is using it as an excuse to try to ban immigration and the Hungarian government is centralizing power off the back of this."

Furthermore, Riz talked about how ethnic minorities in the West are bearing most of the burnt of the pandemic. "I’m looking at the fact it’s hitting African-Americans twice as hard; I’m looking at the fact that 50 percent of NHS frontline workers – is it 50 percent? – are ethnic minorities," he said.

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