With everyone scrambling to get their hands on surgical face masks as a means of protection from the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) outbreak which started from Wuhan, China, many individuals are extending assistance to those in need.
Among those is Taiwanese actress Barbie Hsu who flew to Japan to purchase 10,000 masks to be sent to Wuhan. The actress could not obtain the items in her home country because the government has placed a 30-day export ban on face masks due to a shortage of supply, reported 8 Days.
What was supposed to be a selfless act turned into a controversy when the actress became a “traitor” in the eyes of the Taiwanese.
The Meteor Garden star, however, did receive gratitude from the Chinese netizens for her actions, given that the entire province of Hubei is on lockdown and hospitals are appealing online for medical supplies to be provided.
It was Ms Hsu’s husband, Wang Xiaofei, who shared his wife’s initiative on the popular Chinese social platform.
On January 27, he wrote, “My wife is Taiwanese. She found 10,000 masks in Japan and sent it to my ex-classmate’s place in Wuhan. No matter how difficult it is, we have to do our part and donate.” He added that they would continue to look for more surgical-grade masks in Japan to be sent to Wuhan.
“I don’t think this is a big deal,” commented Ms Hsu, who reposted the message. “This is the attitude that everyone should have. When our fellow humans are in trouble, we should put down whatever differences we have and help each other out rather than to fan the flames or leave others to die. I hope that my children will learn this spirit of helping each other out and that they won’t grow up to be b*****ds,” she added.
Her message garnered much praise from Chinese netizens. She started being called, “Beijing’s daughter-in-law,” with many adding that there are “no differences between us, because we’re all Chinese.”
On the other hand, fellow Taiwanese had opposite reactions to Ms Hsu’s post. She was branded “a traitor” and even accused of “sucking up to China.”
Even Ms Hsu’s younger sister, Dee, who was cast as Dao Ming Si’s older sister in the Chinese rendition of the popular drama series, was slammed for supporting her sister.
“We’re all humans living on the same earth. Not helping each other out isn’t something that humans should do. Without love, this earth will become even more terrible. Hatred is even scarier than viruses,” wrote Dee on Weibo.
“I hope you can understand we need to protect ourselves before we can do that for others,” was one comment from a netizen on Ms Dee’s post.
Japan, who has recently declared a shortage of masks, soon caught wind of the viral news and Japanese netizens have joined the tirade.
According to 8 Days, the actress has been called a “scoundrel” and been told to “go and die” by enraged Japanese netizens.
Others commented that the “Taiwanese are unreasonable people too,” while another questioned why the masks couldn’t have been purchased from Taiwan instead of Japan.