Dear Philadelphia,

Since arriving in town back in 2017, I have absolutely fallen in love with you, your culture and your people. It wasn’t the city I ever expected to wind up in, but now there is NO other city I could imagine living in at this stage of my life — even if I have a 45-minute commute to the PST studios every day.

So I've been disappointed to see how negatively Philadelphia’s Chinatown has been affected by false fears over the coronavirus. Yes, we've all seen headlines from across the nation and globe about xenophobia spreading against those of Asian descent, especially those from China. But we need to be better than that in Philadelphia.

Chinatown’s businesses are reporting SIGNIFICANT downturns in their business (via FOX29)  based on fear… not science. Businesses, especially the incredible restaurants in the neighborhood, have reported significant downturns in daily business. The Inquirer reports that the Ocean Harbor Restaurant has seen an influx of cancelations for banquets during a typically busy season.

Asian-Americans are NO more at risk for contracting the disease than anyone else in Philadelphia. Yes, the COV-ID19 strain of disease first broke out in the Wuhan province of China. Anyone who has traveled to China within 14 days is subject to a possible quarantine as health officials monitor their condition, per the CDC guidelines. 

These business owners and employees are hardworking (like all of us), and they are HERE in our community every day.

In fact, as health officials remind us, there have been NO reported cases of the disease in our area. The Philadelphia Health Department says they are READY for the disease to impact those in our area, but they stress that there is no reason to panic.

Outbreaks of the virus have been reported in parts of Italy (amongst other places). What's next? Do we avoid Italian restaurants? That's silly.

Mayor Jim Kenney recently visited Chinatown to remind us how we NEED to support these businesses (many of which are family-run) to support them.

“Come back to Chinatown and eat — it’s great,” Kenney told The Philadelphia Inquirer when he dined at the Ocean Harbor Restaurant in February. “Chinatown is safe. The city is safe. America is safe. Everybody should relax.”

So let’s all get to Chinatown in the coming days to enjoy a great meal. These businesses NEED our support. I'll be there. Will you?

Never been to Chinatown? Here are a few guides to the neighborhood from other publications that will get you started to find the best foods in town.

GUIDES TO PHILADELPHIA'S CHINATOWN: