The Long Shadow Cast By Coronavirus

Cisco Cotto
February 19, 2020 - 6:00 am

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CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- In less than a few months, coronavirus has dominated headlines and generated fear, especially overseas.

Its potential spread has also had a large impact in Chicago's Chinatown. Doug Roth, founder and president of Playground Hospitality in Chicago, estimates business is down by about 50 percent in the South Side neighborhood. He notes that's much higher compared to the negative economic impact generated by the SARS virus in the early-2000s.

"It's really, unfortunately, based out of misinformation and a little Xenophobia," Roth tells Cisco Cotto in the latest edition of the WBBM In Depth podcast. 

Roth said some people are waiting out the scare by ordering Asian food for delivery, rather than going to restaurants or Chinatown districts. 

Coronavirus is now referred to as COVID-19. The number of cases is still growing, but if the virus can be contained the travel industry to China could rebound by summer, says Joe Schwieterman, professor of public services and director of the Chaddick Institute at DePaul University.

"Still early to say anything for sure," he said.

In Depth is the WBBM Newsradio weekly podcast that takes a deep dive into a timely issue. 


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