Support Local Chinese

As we are all aware, coronavirus has landed in the U.S. Those of us in large metropolitan areas like the DMV (Washington, D.C., Maryland, Virginia) are prepared to see a higher number of cases. My city reported one of the first cases in our large state, followed by another case in the county, then 3 more cases in neighboring counties. The chaos and supply outages around here started well before that.

Am I worried? Yes, of course. I’m most worried about my elderly family members and those with health conditions. I’m worried about my sister who’s an ER nurse. I’m worried about vulnerable populations in all parts of the country and world. I almost cried last week when my radio alarm went off to the sounds of CSPAN – with a 71 year old caller from Detroit on the line, expressing his concerns about being a bus driver with chronic illness. Those are the people I’m most worried about.

Still, we can’t hide from it. It’s here and it’s going to be more prevalent. We must all be cautious and vigilant but not so fearful that everything else comes to a halt.

But not only are people wiping out the hand sanitizer and water (and toilet paper???) aisles in stores, other ugly things are surfacing.

As you may imagine, one of my primary news sources is Eater. They recently wrote an article about the vulnerable workers in the restaurant industry that don’t get sick leave. When people don’t have sick leave, they don’t get paid if they can’t work. If they can’t work, they can’t pay their bills. This is simply not an option for some people. People are going to get sick, think it’s not serious, tough it out because they need to get paid, and put their communities at risk, through no fault of their own. Don’t @ me, @ your Congressman.

But as Eater and other medias have also reported, people are still eating out… just not at Chinese restaurants. The upsurge in racism towards Asians, in particular Chinese, have caused a decline in local Chinese restaurant businesses. Fear in times of crisis causes hatred, prejudice and ignorance to soar.

Chinese food doesn’t spread coronavirus. Not washing your hands spreads coronavirus. WASH YOUR DAMN HANDS! Follow the CDC guidelines to limit the spreading of any germs (which as you will notice, does not include “avoid Chinese food.”)

And whether you’re a part of the foodie community or not, I propose an initiative to support those small businesses that are unjustly suffering right now. Go visit your favorite local Chinese restaurant this week. Then ask a friend which is their favorite, then go visit that one.

Stay safe, stay well, and stay woke. And wash your damn hands.