Monday, April 14, 2003
Chinatown feeling the pinch from SARS.
Chinatown has been eerily quiet for the past fortnight. Restaurants normally abuzz with yum cha munchers are half full. The local hairdresser, David Lau, says business is the slowest he's seen in 12 years of Sussex Street styling. Shopkeepers are wondering what happened to their customers.
With one exception. The Win Duc Chinese Herbal Company is packed. And most of the departing customers are clutching a white package they've bought for $3.
What's going on?
"People think that if they come to Chinatown, they will catch SARS," says Liza Ying, who practises at the Sussex Medical Centre between Dixon and Sussex streets.
"They think that anyone who has recently come to Sydney from Hong Kong is likely to pass through here, and they don't want to be near them. Chinese people are staying indoors and other people are staying away."