coronavirus toronto

Toronto burger joint comes to the rescue for local shop unfairly targeted over coronavirus

A number of local businesses are finding that the public's fear of the novel coronavirus that originated in Wuhan, China in December is causing them to lose a substantial number of customers.

After a Markham eatery cited dwindling attendance, prank calls and hateful messages for having Wuhan in its name, more small business owners are coming out to say that they're facing similar discrimination as people become increasingly more alarmed about the global coronavirus emergency, which has reached near-pandemic proportions.

Yueh Tung, a family-owned Hakka-Indian establishment located near Yonge-Dundas Square, said in an Instagram story that business has "dwindled considerably in the last week because of fear mongering" surrounding the novel virus.

An Upper Beaches flower shop named Flower Centre has also experienced a similar blow to business. One customer even interrogated staff about where in China they're from and proceeded to make xenophobic remarks about coronavirus and the Chinese people.

Andy Sue and his flower shop are being discriminated against because of the corona virus in China. Hoping we as a community can come together to support Andy. This Sunday, 12 to 7pm, anyone with a purchase receipt from Andy Sue dated this Friday, Saturday, or Sunday can exchange it for a free 6 oz. Certified Angus Beach Burger at Fearless Meat. Please show your support for Andy and his flower shop. Flower Center 1012 Kingston Road. Sincerely David Brown Owner Fearless Meat The Butcher of Canada #fearlessmeat #toronto #kingstonroad #kingstonroadvillage #torontoeats #bbq #acebakerybun #certifiedangusbeef #delicious #Raptors #Raptor #Burger #Montreal Smoked meat #Hot Dog #Ice Cream #Beyond meat #Vegan #Vegan ice Cream #Total Burger destination #Vegan Grill #Vegan Milk Shakes #Vegan Burgers #toasted western #Peameal Bacon & Egg # blogto.#Pulled Pork #Free Kiddie Cones #Toronto Deli

A post shared by Fearless Meat (@fearlessmeat) on

Luckily, the community is stepping up to support those experiencing such unfortunate acts of racism. Fearless Meat, a burger joint down the street from Flower Centre, ran a promotion over the weekend giving away free product to any customers who had patronized Sue's store.

"Anyone with a purchase receipt from Andy Sue dated this Friday, Saturday, or Sunday can exchange it for a free 6 oz. Certified Angus Beach Burger at Fearless Meat," a now-viral social media post by owner David Brown reads. "Please show your support for Andy and his flower shop."

As a result, Flower Centre had its busiest weekend yet, according to Global News.

Toronto Mayor John Tory is among those calling the public to be aware of and stand up against the discrimination that is being attached to the Chinese community because of the illness.

There have been swirling rumours about the virus in GTA locales that have high Chinese-Canadian populations, like Markham's Markville shopping centre and T&T Supermarket, both of which have had to publicly dispel misinformation about employees possibly being infected.

The 2019-nCoV outbreak has spread to more than 17,000 cases — four in Canada — in at least 24 countries at the time of publication. The virus has an approximate 2 per cent fatality rate, with at least 362 dead, all but one in China.

Like with most communicable diseases, the elderly and those already at risk due to pre-existing health conditions are the most vulnerable, while generally healthy people in countries with good medical care (and few or no cases of the virus) need not be overly concerned.

Lead photo by

Fareen Karim

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