Leeds Beckett student abused by gang on bus for wearing coronavirus mask

‘People aren’t taking it seriously, they are making fun of it’

Iraj Mayeli, an Accountancy student at Leeds Beckett University, received verbal abuse after wearing a precautionary mask to protect himself against the coronavirus.

Mayeli, 26, was mocked on a bus by a gang of males on his way home to West Park with his girlfriend. He had bought the mask from Wickes as a precaution.

He said: “When I was wearing it people started looking at me in a weird way, like I have a disease.

“We were on the bus heading home and there was a bunch of lads sat behind us. They started shouting things like ‘this guy has coronavirus’.

“It made me feel really angry but I stayed calm. As I was getting off the bus, they started saying stuff like ‘bye coronavirus’.

“People aren’t taking it seriously, they are making fun of it. I think it’s really dangerous as there’s no cure or vaccination.

“We need to be really careful, especially since there were two cases in Leeds. I think there are going to be more.”

Mayeli was born in Iran, where coronavirus is already proving devastating. In Iran, 300,000 troops have been deployed to deal with the virus, over 2,300 cases have been confirmed, and 54,000 prisoners have been temporarily freed to help contain the virus.

This means Mayeli thinks we should be taking the virus much more seriously in this country. He calls the virus “very dangerous” and says “people aren’t taking it seriously, they are making fun of it.”

He added: “And about universities they should raise awareness more, I haven’t yet seen anything about our university (Leeds beckett) to do about this Coronavirus situation, I think universities can be a very dirty place as we don’t know who was sat on the chair that I’m sitting on, were they sick ?  That’s why I am stopping going to classes for now and I’m quite surprised that they don’t really taking it seriously. This remind me of a poet “First they came”

“First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out— Because I was not a socialist.

“Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out— Because I was not a trade unionist.

“Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out— Because I was not a Jew.

“Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.”

There have already been three confirmed cases of coronavirus in Yorkshire, with two in Leeds and one in Bradford.

To deal with the growing threat and concern on the spread of the virus, Leeds general Infirmary and Wharfedale Hospital have installed two coronavirus pods for the isolation and treatment of patients. These pods are intended to prevent the spread of the virus.

Leeds Teaching Hospital Trust says “a great deal of work” has been done to prepare for the arrival of the virus and there is “no need for staff and patients to worry”.

Despite this, concern is growing amongst students as universities stay quiet on the developments of cases in Leeds. So far, one student from Vita Student St Albans accommodation and one from Ellerslie Global residences have been tested for the virus.

Despite the increase in confirmed cases to 85, over 13,500 people have been tested for the virus in the UK so far so the public are being reminded to remain calm.

Advice for students can be found on the University of Leeds and Leeds Beckett University websites.