The alternate title of this piece could be the one that Glenn Reynolds of Instapundit fame always uses about the latest antics of Rep Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-New York. “The socialist It Girl continues to pay dividends.”
Fox News is reporting that AOC has a complaint about the American people’s dining choices during the Age of the Coronavirus. She stated during a live session on Instagram, “Honestly, it sounds almost so silly to say, but there’s a lot of restaurants that are feeling the pain of racism, where people are literally not patroning Chinese restaurants, they’re not patroning Asian restaurants because of just straight-up racism around the coronavirus.”
The statement raised both eyebrows and hackles across social media and beyond. Many pointed out that the word “patroning” is not a real word. AOC probably meant to use the word “patronizing.”
Also, heavy sighs of exasperation could be noted at AOC’s wild accusations of racism. The Blaze notes that left-wingers like Ocasio-Cortez can be quite promiscuous with accusations of racism. For example, certain synonyms for the coronavirus have been labeled as “racist.” We are not supposed to say “Chinese Coronavirus” or “Wuhan Coronavirus” or even “Wu Flu” to refer to the pandemic that came roaring out of China and is now ravaging much of the world.
Mike Huckabee, the former governor of Arkansas and current media personality, was merciless in his mockery.
“This is like an SNL parody. She is like literally like not aware of like literally much of like anything, like not even fact there’s like literally no word patroning and she like is literally clueless as to what like racism literally means. And she is in Congress. Literally!”
AOC has a germ of a point behind her Instagram rant. Ever since the advent of the coronavirus people have been avoiding Chinese eateries, likely because of its origin in Mainland China. The Today Show noted that businesses in New York’s Chinatown have experienced a marked drop off of business, resulting in lower revenues and layoffs of employees. The phenomenon is being repeated across the country.
Ocasio-Cortez says people are not eating at Chinese and Asian restaurants right now because they are "just straight up" racist about the coronavirus pic.twitter.com/egtpRDEDhO
— Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) March 11, 2020
To be sure, the slackening of business for Chinese eateries is likely more out of ignorance than anti-Asian racism. It is very unlikely that you will get coronavirus from your dish of General Tso’s Chicken or from your server, who has not likely to have been anywhere near China in years and, if suck, is not likely to be at work.
The unofficial boycott of Chinese restaurants is similar to the falling off of sales for Corona beer. People have stopped drinking the formerly popular brew from Mexico because of the unfortunate similarity of its name with that of the pandemic.
Ironically, as NBC News notes, the Sichuan Impression, a chain located in Southern California, has turned things on its head by checking the temperature of everyone arriving for a meal. Anyone who is running a fever is being refused service. Employees are checked twice daily and anyone running a temperature is also sent home. The policy is seen as a clever way to reassure people that they will not get sick inside the walls of the Sichuan Impression.
The policy has garnered praise in many quarters. The idea is that the restaurant is ensuring to patrons that it is not going to become a hot zone for coronavirus or any other disease that causes a high fever.
On the other hand, others have criticized the new policy on the theory that it is unfair. The presence of high fever is not sufficient evidence that one has the coronavirus. Of course, the simple flu can be a serious matter as well.
At first, politicians and civic leaders urged people to not be afraid of going out for Chinese food. However, that advice had now been complicated by the admonishment to practice “social distancing” by avoiding crowds. The practice does not necessarily mean not going out to eat. But some restaurants are moving tables away from one another to try to ensure that a sick person at one table will not infect anyone at another table.
The upshot, some have pointed out, is that there is always takeout and delivery. Indeed, meal delivery services such as Uber Eats and Door Dash have instituted policies that allow their drivers to leave an ordered meal on the doorstep. That information is good to know just in case one has to undergo a coronavirus quarantine.