SAN DIEGO COUNTY, Calif. — The panic the deadly coronavirus has created in China is finding its way to San Diego and affecting the Asian businesses in the region.
New hand sanitizing stations now line the walls at Jasmine Seafood in Kearny Mesa – one of the many Asian food restaurants taking precaution.
“If a communicable disease is going on, we have to be cautious. We shake hands with the customers [and] we want to make sure to clean our hands afterwards,” said Allen Chan.
Chan said many of his Chinese customers have slowly stopped dinning.
“Some customers are scared so business is a little affected,” he said.
Down the street from Jasmine Seafood is China Max and Zion Market where there has been a sudden slump in sales amid coronavirus concerns.
“I would imagine that our government should be looking into doing something about it,” said one shopper.
While health officials around the world scramble to contain the virus, members of the San Diego Asian community said they are becoming targets of racism.
“You know, like, ‘they are [an] Asian grocery store, Asian restaurant, we need to stay away from them.’ Well, it is ok, but don’t overdo it, make other people feel hurt,” said a customer at Zion Market.
Chan said he has no control over his customer’s reaction, but is can be protective.
This week Dim Sum servers will start wearing face mask, and as one of the oldest Asian restaurants in San Diego, it hopes to lead by example.
“We want to be cautious and we want to make sure everyone is doing something to prevent getting infected,” said Chan.
San Diego does have an Asian Business Association, but there have been no formal directives for local businesses.
The CDC is expected to report the results of a potential case of coronavirus in San Diego on Wednesday.