Chinatown prepares to celebrate Lunar New Year, despite coronavirus concerns

As coronavirus concerns mount across the globe, businesses in New York City’s Chinatown neighborhood are feeling the pain, as both locals and tourists avoid the area.

“I’ve noticed business down in most of these stores about 40 percent,” said Karlin Chan, a local community leader. “People shouldn’t be treating Chinatown and other Chinese communities like leper colonies.”

There currently is not a single confirmed case of coronavirus in the state of New York, but conspiracy theories and fake news continue to flood the internet about the virus.

The NYPD Hate Crimes unit is investigating a recent subway attack on an Asian woman which witnesses say was triggered by fears over the virus. 

However, organizers of the 21st annual Chinatown Lunar New Year Parade and Festival are focusing on their event on February 9. In a normal year, the parade draws 25,000 participants and half a million onlookers. Its purpose is to foster a cultural connection for the generations of Chinese-Americans born in the United States by showing them how much the older generations care. 

“We want to use the New Year, this happy occasion to let our second and third-generation to remember the Chinese traditional culture,” said Steven Tin, organizer of the parade.


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