British-Pakistani Actor Riz Ahmed Lost Two Family Members To COVID-19
British actor and rapper of Pakistani origin Riz Ahmed, in a recent interview about the coronavirus crisis, revealed that the pandemic has gotten closer to his heart since he lost two relatives to the virus.
The Comicbook.com has reported that Riz Ahmed said, “I just want to believe their deaths and all the others aren’t for nothing. We gotta step up to re-imagine a better future.”
He also commented on the socio-political implications of the global crisis and said that times of survival like these bring forth the true faces of people and you get to know the real them.
The Venom star went on to add that such a situation is 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 which 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 well-being 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 is calling it ‘corona-jihad’ and they’re trying to blame its spread on 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.”
Riz also talked about how ethnic minorities in the West are bearing most of the brunt 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.