Coronavirus is associated with a lot of misinformation, rumor, panic, and hysteria. The hysteria is so bad that people refuse to drink Corona Beer due to the name alone. The social stage surrounding the disease is clearly in disarray. What is not clear is how that all affects everything in the long run. It brings up a lot of questions that might be difficult to answer. One of such questions goes entirely unasked.
What will Coronavirus’s impact be on the Chinese Cuisine Industry in the United States?
Sadly, the answer is that the industry looks very bleak. As far as I could see, there are many Chinese Eateries closing their doors. People do not want to eat Chinese food right now. The damage from media sensationalism will be felt in this industry for decades because of a few misconceptions happening right now.
People outside of the United States may not know that there is a huge demand for Chinese cuisine here. It is extremely common for the average American to consume Chinese food at least 5-6 times per month, if not more.
Since news broke about Coronavirus and its link to China, I have noticed myself that there is a sharp decline in the desire for Americans to consume Chinese food. In fact, there have been several instances of vandalism related to the outbreak in a rise of racially charged incidents related to the outbreak.
Stores across the country are simply unable to survive the climate associated with the stigma, and they’re closing their doors. Some of these stores have been around for decades, and this small, stigmatized stint of no business is all it takes to turn a bustling Chinese cuisine mega-megastore into another lease sign in a window.
Stigma is a very powerful, destructive concept. It is when a negative connotation is established to something otherwise entirely dissociated from that connotation. The example would be that although there are no Coronavirus cases in a particular city, people would not want to “risk it.”
What are they risking? They have more of a chance to be hit by a bus on the way there than they do of contracting the disease “magically” because the food is Chinese.
Even Panda Express is losing business, and those stores are nowhere near as traditional as some of the local stores. People also fail to realize that unlike Wuhan, the United States has a food safety protocol in place that would prevent the foodborne spread of Coronavirus.
People do not o this deliberately. This is an act of society, and if anybody is to blame, it is publications like CNN, FOX, NBC, and CBS. The mainstream panic has implications that people do not think about. They’re just in to cause a scare for the benefit of the dollar, and it has cost people their livelihood.