Fears of New Coronavirus Hurting Asian American Businesses
Asian American businesses are seeing a drop in customers because of fears over the new coronavirus outbreak in China.
In many places, city officials are trying to stop the financial harm with efforts like information campaigns and personal visits to stores and restaurants. They aim to bring attention to the fact that there have been few confirmed cases of the disease in the United States. They say there is no reason to avoid Asian American businesses.
The newly opened Asian District in Mesa, Arizona, was organizing a night market for the end of February. Then, news of a case of the illness known as COVID-19 was confirmed at nearby Arizona State University.
Comments on social media and phone calls started almost immediately, said Vicente Reid. He is chief of the Arizona Asian Chamber of Commerce.
Reid said, "I probably should stop picking up my phone altogether. "
The new coronavirus has sickened tens of thousands of people, mostly in China. Fifteen people in the U.S. have been confirmed to have the virus. All but two had recently traveled to China.
Fewer people at restaurants
Vegetarian Dim Sum House has been a popular place to eat in Manhattan's Chinatown for 23 years. But recently, owner Frankie Chu said he will not be able to pay his rent this month.
Chu said restaurant sales have dropped 70 percent over the last two weeks. On a recent weekday, just three couples stopped in for lunch. Normally, Chu said he gets up to 30 people for lunch. At dinnertime, his narrow restaurant usually gets about 70 customers. These days, he has about four.
"I don't know how long I can stay here," Chu said. "After 9/11, it wasn't this bad."
The situation has concerned New York City officials and business leaders. They have launched a campaign to bring people back to hard-hit communities in Manhattan, Queens and Brooklyn.
"Chinatown is bleeding," said Wellington Chen. He is executive chairman of the Chinatown Partnership, a local business and community group. "This thing is thousands of miles away. This fear is really out of proportion."
New York City is home to more than 500,000 Chinese Americans, the biggest population of any U.S. city. Some New Yorkers whose families are from China say they feel now like foreigners because of a disease spreading in another country.
"It's a little annoying to be honest," said Christina Seid, owner of the Chinatown Ice Cream Factory. Her father started the business 40 years ago.
Her great-grandparents immigrated to New York from China. She said business has been slower than usual but added that the winter months are not busy for ice cream stores. She said she feels hopeful that things will soon return to normal.
There have been no confirmed cases of the virus in New York City. Officials and politicians are trying to prove to locals that there is no reason to avoid any neighborhood. Many city leaders have been eating at Chinese restaurants and publishing pictures of themselves doing so, using the hashtag #SupportChinatown.
In Boston, Massachusetts, Mayor Marty Walsh has launched a similar social media campaign. He has asked people to share pictures of themselves supporting small businesses in that city's Chinatown with the hashtag #LoveBostonChinatown.
In the San Francisco Bay Area, the situation is serious enough that Sunny Wong's family is considering temporarily closing one of the four restaurants they own in Oakland Chinatown. Even some of his friends and longtime customers have told him about false stories of people getting sick at one of his restaurants.
"They hear stories and rumors and they just don't really look for the facts in a situation," Wong said.
Nom Wah Tea Parlor is the oldest restaurant in Manhattan's Chinatown. Manager Vincent Tang said the restaurant had a 40-percent drop in business over the past three weeks. During a recent weekday, nearly half the tables were empty.
Some customers at Nom Wah said they were surprised that others were staying away.
"It didn't cross my mind at all," said customer Kate Masterson. "It's not happening here," she said of the outbreak.
I'm Ashley Thompson.
1.personal visits 私人访问
No personal visits or telephone call.
2.go down 下降
I went down on my knees and prayed for guidance.
3.look for 寻找
We all need to look for ways to reduce our carbon footprint.
4.getting sick 生病
I made it through the week without getting sick.
5.Some customers at Nom Wah said they were surprised that others were staying away.
staying away 远离
Staying away so long from office will affect promotion.
The boy was often disciplined for staying away from school.
6.They have launched a campaign to bring people back to hard-hit communities in Manhattan.
bring back to 带回
They are looking for intellectual property and brands to bring back to the Chinese market.
Many felt there was a chance that the astronauts could bring back to earth some strange infection.
在很多地方，市政府官员正试图通过宣传活动和亲自走访商店和餐馆等措施来阻止经济损失 。他们的目的是让人们关注到一个事实，即在美国几乎没有确诊病例 。他们说，没有理由要躲避亚裔美国人的企业 。
亚利桑那州梅萨市新开业的亚洲区将于2月底组织一个夜市 。随后，附近的亚利桑那州立大学证实了一例确诊新型冠状病毒的患者 。
韦森特·里德（Vicente Reid）表示，社交媒体瞬间被网友攻占，他的电话也立刻响了起来 。他是亚利桑那州亚洲商会的负责人 。
新型冠状病毒已经导致数万人患病，其中大多数患者在中国 。美国已经有15人确诊 。除了两人以外的其他患者近期都去过中国 。
23年来，“素食点心屋”一直是曼哈顿唐人街的热门餐馆 。但是最近，餐厅老板弗兰克·朱表示，他这个月快交不起房租了 。
朱表示，过去两周饭店生意下降了70% 。最近的一个工作日，只有3对夫妻来这里用午餐 。朱表示，平时来这里用午餐的多达30人 。在晚餐时间，他的小餐馆通常能招待约70名顾客 。这几天大约只有4名顾客光顾 。
朱表示：“我不知道还能坚持多久 。911之后店里的生意还没这么惨淡过 。”
这种情况引起了纽约市官员和商业领袖的关注 。他们发起了一场活动，号召人们重新光顾曼哈顿、皇后区和布鲁克林区这些受冲击严重的社区 。
惠林顿·陈表示：“唐人街正在遭受冲击 。”他是唐人街合伙企业的执行主席，这是一家当地商业和社区组织 。他说：“疫情发生在千里之外 。这种担忧完全是大惊小怪 。”
纽约市拥有超过50万华裔美国人，是美国华裔人口最多的城市 。一些有家属来自中国的纽约人表示，由于一种在其它国家传播的疾病，让他们感觉自己身处异乡 。
唐人街冰淇淋厂老板克里斯蒂娜·塞德表示：“说实话，这有点过分 。”她的父亲在40年前创办了这家企业 。
她的曾祖父从中国移民到纽约 。她表示，生意是较平时冷清了点，但是又表示，冰激凌店冬天本来就处于淡季 。她说，希望一切很快恢复如常 。
纽约市没有确诊病例 。官员和政客们正试图向当地人证明，没有必要躲避任何邻里 。很多城市领导人一直在中餐厅就餐，并在发布就餐照片时加上“支持唐人街”的标签 。
在马萨诸塞州的波士顿市，市长马蒂·沃尔什也在社交网络上发起了类似活动 。他号召人们使用“热爱波士顿唐人街”的标签分享自己支持该市唐人街小企业的照片 。
在旧金山湾区，情况已经十分严重，沙利·黄的家人开始考虑暂时关闭在奥克兰唐人街4家餐厅中的一家 。甚至他的一些朋友和老顾客都透露，他的一家餐厅有人生病的谣言 。
南华茶餐厅是曼哈顿唐人街最古老的餐厅 。餐厅经理韦森特·唐表示，过去三周里，这家餐厅的营业额下降了40% 。在最近的一个工作日，近一半的桌子都空着 。
顾客凯特·马斯特森表示：“完全没有料到 。”谈到疫情时她表示：“这里又没发生疫情 。”