Local leaders joined business owners in Kearny Mesa Tuesday for a coronavirus "reality check," as some Asian restaurants say fear of the virus has scared away customers.
“Definitely ridiculous," that’s the diagnosis from Dr. Allen Chan.
The chiropractor has followed the coronavirus story closely because it is now impacting his other business, the Jasmine Seafood Restaurant, in the Convoy area of Kearny Mesa.
“It’s just senseless,” he said of the growing panic over the virus that has only infected 11 people in the United States as of Tuesday evening.
The businessman said the coronavirus has scared away customers from Jasmine Seafood and other Asian-owned restaurants. That’s why he said he’s taking precautions to assure customers even though no one locally affected.
“We have to do whatever measure we can to help reduce the risk,” Dr. Chan said.
He installed additional hand sanitizers throughout his restaurant and purchased clear plastic face guards for his servers to wear. It blocks his employees from breathing directly on food.
“To make sure customers feel extra safe,” he said.
“Yeah, there were hardly anybody, any people in there getting their fast food,” said Joyce Arnette, who didn’t have to wait in line for her carry out order at Jasmine.
“I think people just need to take a deep breath and go on with their lives,” she said.
“It’s frustrating,” said San Diego City Councilman Chris Cate.
Cate and San Diego County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher hosted a news conference outside of Jasmine to calm the fears of the community, but also to issue a coronavirus reality check.
The Centers for Disease Control said 11 people in the US are infected with the coronavirus, but 14 million have the seasonal flu which has killed about 10,000 people since the flu season began.
“Because of this hysteria, [the business owners'] livelihoods are at stake,” Councilman Cate stressed.
That’s why Dr. Chan said he'll take any steps necessary to make people feel safe.
“Safety of the health of the customers is number one,” he said.