Opinion: I ate at this Burnaby mall to combat coronavirus rumours. You should too

Chris Campbell

I don’t normally get emotional when reading news stories.

Thirty years of reading about tragedies will do that to a person. But on Friday, I found the room getting pretty dusty as I read the NOW’s story about what’s been going on at Burnaby’s Crystal Mall.

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You can read it here, but vendors such as Holmes and Valery Wang, who run Malay Curry House at the Crystal Mall food court, opened up about their struggles due to unfounded rumours about the coronavirus.

“It’s tough,” Holmes told the NOW. “Our revenue decreased anywhere north of 80% literally.”

The mall has suffered a severe decline in customers since a number of rumours were spread on Chinese-language social media sites regarding businesses there, rumours that employees had novel coronavirus, or that customers had recently arrived from China and were staying in Canada because they weren’t allowed in the United States or Australia.

“Friends will send me texts saying, ‘I heard this about Crystal Mall, is it true?’ I say, ‘it’s absolutely not true,’” Holmes said.

It’s just so stupid that people will pay heed to these kinds of rumours. It’s devastating businesses across Metro Vancouver.

The fear has got to stop.

To help send a positive message to the community, B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix came by for lunch on Friday, along with NDP MP Peter Julian, NDP MLAs George Chow and Raj Chouhan, and Burnaby Mayor Mike Hurley, as well as a number of members of Burnaby council.

I was inspired by this so I too went to Crystal Mall for a meal. I’m a regular customer of the food court because there is some amazing food there, especially these chilled duck wings that I wrote about in my food blog.

I plan on going to the food court more often than normal to shop and eat. I’m writing this blog hoping that other people will be inspired to support these local businesses. You won't be disappointed by the food. It's amazing. There grocery area downstairs is also loaded with fresh fruits and vegetables.

People need to stop giving into fear. Just be cautious by washing your hands regularly. We need to keep going on with our regular lives.

Follow Chris Campbell on Twitter @shinebox44.

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