(Fighting New Coronary Pneumonia) New York Chinatown: In the epidemic, Chinese people are looking forward to the "Rainbow Year"

  China News Service, New York, February 7

  China News Agency reporter Ma Delin

  February 7, the twenty-sixth of the twelfth lunar month of the Chinese lunar calendar.

The snow from the previous blizzard has not melted yet, and New York has its second snow in a week.

  "Business is too difficult to do this year." In a store on Mott St Road in Manhattan, New York, the owner, Ms. Li, greeted the guests while organizing various festive supplies such as Spring Festival couplets, lucky characters, and lanterns.

A customer asked about the price of Spring Festival couplets. After learning that a pair of $25 was too expensive, the clerk immediately said, "You can get 20 yuan."

  Ms. Li is from Taishan, Guangdong and has been in the United States for more than 20 years.

"I have brought my children back to China several times, but I have never returned home during the Chinese New Year." She told reporters, "Business was very good during the Spring Festival in previous years, and many Chinese living in other states came to Chinatown to buy these. Wait), can't go away."

  "The feeling of not being able to go home during the New Year, alas, only people who have experienced it can appreciate it." Ms. Li said, "So I would stay in a store in Chinatown around the Spring Festival, and the New Year atmosphere here is a bit stronger."

  Since the beginning of the Spring Festival last year, Chinatown in New York has been hit by the new crown virus; after the outbreak in New York in March, Chinatown has even worsened the situation.

It is reported that about 90% of the shops in Manhattan’s Chinatown closed in May last year. Although the situation has improved with the gradual resumption of work in New York, it has never been able to return to the state where there were many shops and pedestrians before the epidemic.

Now you can see a closed shop every few steps here, and even half of the street in Gran Street and other roads has closed rolling doors.

  In a shop that sells all kinds of dried goods and Chinese medicinal materials, the clerk complained to reporters that he "is about to lose his job."

"The boss can't make it anymore. There are too many unemployed people now, and they eat relief. They must go to the supermarket to buy cheap food when they get the money. Our things are expensive, and no one buys them." There was a sign on the shelf behind her. A piece of paper with words such as "clearance and rejection", "benefit to the neighbourhood", and "not counted as cost".

  After experiencing the "holiday peak" of the new crown pneumonia epidemic, the recent epidemic in New York State has eased significantly.

On February 6, the positive rate of New Coronavirus testing in New York State was about 4%, the lowest since November 27 last year; 7,649 patients with COVID-19 were hospitalized, the lowest since Christmas last year.

Nevertheless, the data of the New York State epidemic is still significantly higher than last summer.

  Xiaosang, a native of Guangxi, is a hairdresser. The shop where he works is not busy before the Spring Festival. There are only three or four customers in the morning.

"I now have to rely on the weekly relief fund issued by the city government." Xiao Sang told reporters that after including the rent, his monthly expenses are around US$3,000.

"Government relief is more than 100 a week, plus that little salary is barely enough." Xiao Sang said that despite his tight income, he still rented a single room with a bathroom for more than $1,000 a month.

"This can somewhat reduce the risk of some infections."

  Affected by the epidemic, the annual "reservations" during the Spring Festival, such as the Chinatown New Year Love Parade, have to be postponed indefinitely or changed to online.

However, New York City still has a "year taste".

The Chinese Consulate General in New York continues the tradition of previous years and jointly organized celebrations with its partners in New York City. Landmark buildings such as the Empire State Building and the World Trade Center will light up the "China Red"; the Consulate General will also hold a "New Year Together" cloud group worship. Consul General Huang Ping celebrated the upcoming Spring Festival with representatives of overseas Chinese in the United States.

The Metropolitan Museum, New York City Public Library and Queens Botanical Garden also have their own celebrations.

  “I listened to Ambassador Huang Ping’s introduction of China’s situation two days ago (in the group visit). We are truly proud of our ancestral country.” Chen Shanzhuang, chairman of the Federation of Asian American Societies, told a reporter from China News Agency that he was also there. Try to do your part for the New York compatriots in a good year.

The catering industry in New York City has been hit hard by the epidemic, and the losses of Chinese restaurants have been particularly painful. The restaurant in Chen Shanzhuang is no exception.

"Now the restaurant is operating more than the cost of closing the door." Chen Shanzhuang told reporters, but he still insisted on opening, and offered local Chinese and overseas Chinese New Year's Eve set meal takeaway at preferential prices, which is very popular.

  "The past year was really difficult. But there is a saying in my hometown that if there is heavy snow before the New Year, the next year will be a good harvest year." Chen Shanzhuang said, "I sincerely hope that the epidemic will be over soon, and the year of the ox will be able to turn the universe into the sky. !"(Finish)