Don’t Let Coronavirus Fears Stop You From Maintaining Chinese Restaurants

Outbreaks are scary, and fear can cause people to make bad decisions. Fear can lead people to buy a bunch of unnecessary masks , show casual racism, or avoid delicious Chinese food. These are all bad things, and the latter is causing a lot of problems in Chinatowns and Chinese restaurants across the United States. This is truly unfortunate, since the likelihood of contracting the coronavirus in a Chinese restaurant is no higher than in any other restaurant in a large city.

While the CDC has advised Americans to refrain from traveling to China, this does not apply to your local Chinatown. According to Vox , “99 percent of cases now occur in mainland China. And more than half of them are located in Hubei province. ” As Dr. Jennifer Lo, medical director of the Boston Public Health Commission explained to the Boston WBUR, if you currently live (and eat lunch) in the US, you should be more worried about the flu, which the CDC says has hit 10,000 people. Associated with this are cases in the United States, compared to a dozen cases associated with the novel coronavirus.

The outbreak harms restaurants in two ways. Not only are there strict travel rules, but major US airlines have suspended service between the US and China, while Chinese airlines have either significantly reduced or canceled travel to the United States. This has resulted in huge financial losses for the business, which typically sees some of the $ 258 billion Chinese tourists spend annually on travel, and the NYT says hundreds of trips have been canceled. Combined with unfounded social media rumors, racist paranoia and xenophobia, this leads to empty restaurants across the country. According to The Eater, the outbreak has exposed “old racism and xenophobia that portrays the Chinese as uncivilized , barbaric“ others ”,” mistakenly linking the virus to eating animals that Westerners consider unacceptable.

If you’re worried about the virus, wash your hands, don’t touch your face, get the damn flu shot, and keep yourself posted through reputable health organizations, not social media or sensational posts. These are rewarding actions, but perpetuating racism and xenophobia either with “harmless” jokes or memes, or abandoning the restaurants you usually visit often are useless. You deprive business owners of rent money, deprive them of their salaries and deprive yourself of Chinese food.


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