Chilli vs Coronavirusdate：2020-02-06 views：854
The epidemic of 2019-nCoV, the novel coronavirus that started spreading in Wuhan (Hubei, China), is still wreaking havoc on people’s lives. Stereotypes and prejudices went more viral than the virus itself. Once again, as if we had never learned from history, Chinese food is considered strange and dangerous, and a relatively few people’s infection spreads panic about them all.
We at the World Chilli Alliance are directly and indirectly affected. Our headquarters are in Chongqing, China. The team there faces the same uncertainty and worry – and calls to only go out when necessary, wearing facemasks, upholding high standards of hygiene – as people throughout China. It is hard to imagine the situation, the mix of worried boredom and helpless despair, in quarantined areas.
The team outside of China, the WCA members abroad, know Chinese not just as a label, but as co-workers, friends, and often enough, family.
For all of us, perceptions of people and of their foods matter. Spicy foods are a passion; “ethnic” foods a big draw. It is not an immediate problem, but it hurts to see the same foods that an Anthony Bourdain loved, become tainted by wrong accusations. The bat soup you may have seen? Not Chinese. Of course, there are problems with wet markets – but they are also a great fascination. And we will get back to working on improving these situations, where they are not the best and in our purview.
Now, however, there are pressing issues. China is fighting to contain the spread of the coronavirus; Chinese are suffering – and if you think that Chinese are far away, remember that we are all just potential hosts to a virus. A virus does not care about your nationality, your ethnicity, your color of skin. It just spreads.
Unless it is contained. Unless we contain it. Standing together, not falling apart.
WCA is calling for much-needed donations, of medical supplies and money to buy them. Please contribute! Every little bit helps, and we will make sure it goes where it is needed!
[The sooner we get this situation under control, the sooner we can be connected by the pleasure of the chilli again, not the predicament of the coronavirus!]