Discrimination against China and Chinese people have erupted since the Covid-19 outbreak in January. Anxieties are high as many are avoiding Chinatowns across the world for fear, they might contract the deadly virus.
From Australia to New York City to Toronto to England to San Francisco, Chinatowns in many regions of the world have transformed into ghost towns. We noted this phenomenon last week.
Lily Zhou, 39, who owns a Shanghai-style restaurant in Australia’s Chinatown, told Bloomberg her food sales had crashed 70% since late January, which is around the time the virus started making headlines. She said her operation can withstand another few months of low traffic, and then after that, she would have to close down.
At 99 Favor Taste in Manhattan, store manager Echo Wu said traffic volume has plunged by a third since the virus started making headlines. Wu said depressed sales could begin impacting the long-term outlook for the restaurant. He believes people are irrational, and the media has drummed up Sinophobia.
“They may have a bias toward Chinese restaurants now,” He said. “I hope people can be more reasonable. After all, there are no cases in town yet.”
Dinner time in Chinatown and the restaurants are near empty! What’s going on?There are no confirmed cases of #coronavirus in NYC, but just the fear of it is sending customers into a panic. Merchants in lower Manhattan, Brooklyn and Flushing are suffering.@abc7ny pic.twitter.com/ipRTkgBxc8
— Lucy Yang (@LucyYang7) February 11, 2020
The Rol San Restaurant in Toronto’s Chinatown has seen sales slump by at least 30% in the last month. Bloomberg asked the manager if the virus is driving Sinophobia, he replied: “Of course.”
Other restaurants in Toronto’s Chinatown have experienced a slowdown in patrons. Streets are bare, and a nearby supermarket to Rol San has seen …
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