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As she walks through campus and sits in class, Rosen Huynh tries extra hard to suppress her coughs.
Fear of the coronavirus, which was first detected in December in China, has spread around the world, and many people like Huynh are suddenly hyperaware of their East Asian roots. Every cough, every wheeze, the 22-year-old says, seems to elicit furtive glances and odd looks.
“I don’t know if it’s just people looking at me coughing or because I’m an Asian person coughing, they think I might have the coronavirus,” said Huynh, who lives in Monterey Park. “I feel like every time I cough, people are going to be uncomfortable with that. I shouldn’t have to feel that way.”