New COVID-19 outbreak causes Northeast China snack to go trending, showing Chinese people’s confidence to control coronavirus
Published: May 17, 2021 07:48 PM
Chicken rips Photo: Sina Weibo

Chicken rips Photo: Sina Weibo

Two new COVID-19 cases were reported in Shenyang, capital of Northeast China’s Liaoning Province, on Sunday. While a new outbreak is concerning, it did not end up causing Chinese netizens to rush to social media to express their fears and worries, but rather kicking off another trending topic related to Shengyang – the city’s famous chicken ribs.

The keyword jijia (chicken ribs) began trending on Monday after news about the reappearance of coronavirus in Shenyang broke. However, jijia has nothing to do with the epidemic, it is actually a type of popular snack in the region. This rise in a topic unrelated to the pandemic reflects Chinese netizens’ confidence that the outbreak will soon be contained.

The hashtag appeared on the social media platform after the movements of those in Shenyang infected with the novel coronavirus were reported, and Chinese writer Liao Xinzhong noticed that all the people had something in common, they had all visited chicken rib restaurants in the city. 
“I wonder how delicious chicken ribs are, because every time contact tracing concerning the infected people in Shenyang are announced, the fact they had eaten at a chicken rib shop is always there as well,” Liao wrote on Sina Weibo on Sunday.

The post soon kicked off a huge discussion about the city’s specialty on social media, with many residents in Shenyang strongly recommending the snack to netizens elsewhere.

“Chicken ribs can be roasted, fried or cooked in other ways; the point is that no matter how you cook them, you can make very delicious chicken ribs,” one netizen wrote. 

Another netizen said that even though she always gets the trots after eating chicken ribs, she still loves the snack deeply.

Netizens began posting pictures of the snack on Sina Weibo, which quickly attracted even more attention. 

“I didn’t know much about chicken ribs, but now I am longing to go to Shenyang and taste the food there. I am so curious,” one netizen commented.

Some netizens expressed concern over the outbreak, noting that they will wait for things to come under control before heading to the city to try the tasty snack. 

“Although the new cases appeared, all people around me are not panicking at all. We wear face masks and take better prevention measures, and then live a normal life as usual,” a Shenyang resident surnamed Cui, a mom of a 6-month-old, told the Global Times on Monday.

She added that the calm and peaceful attitude stems from the confidence that the virus will be quickly beaten through the efforts of residents and the local government. 

“There is no need to worry about the virus. We can quickly bring it under control just like we did last time. Delicious food is far more attractive,” Cui said.