Coronavirus is a problem in China, not local Chinese restaurants (Opinion)
I remember the panic over Ebola when people were being quarantined and Governor Christie got all kinds of heat for holding a nurse who had returned from a part of Africa that was high with Ebola cases. Fast forward to today and there is a largely media-driven panic over a disease that is essentially concentrated in mainland China.
Yes, more than a thousand people have died and about sixty thousand have fallen ill. Yes, there seems to be some uncertainty as to the cause and the spread and no, there isn't a treatment/vaccine yet available, but the disease in most cases is pretty mild.
That said, if you look at the spread of the virus and the victims, it seems if you avoid China, you're probably gonna be OK. Problem is that even though millions have contracted the flu in the US so far this year and more than ten thousand people have died, people would rather panic over a virus they are most likely not gonna get and even if they get it they will likely be fine. So rather than get the flu shot and take reasonable precautions against a known killer, many Americans are avoiding Chinese restaurants. Yup, that's happening.
We did a story on this on my FoxTV show "Chasing News" on Wednesday and in places like Chinatown in New York, the problem of people staying away is hitting a crisis level for local businesses.
Part of the panic is fueled by some experts who warn that the virus could impact 60% of the world's population if left unchecked.
The World Health Organization has pushed back on that claim calling the social media frenzy an "infodemic". Seems that given travel restrictions and the level of medical care in the Western world at least, there's no need to fear that possibility either way.
So, stay calm, go get your flu shot and order up some pork lo mein for dinner. As a matter of fact, go to the restaurant and bring a nice bottle of wine to wash it down.
Bill Spadea is on the air weekdays from 6 to 10 a.m., talkin’ Jersey, taking your calls at 1-800-283-1015. Tweet him @NJ1015 or @BillSpadea. The opinions expressed here are solely those of Bill Spadea.
More from New Jersey 101.5: