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Collateral damage from coronavirus outbreak

A bottle of Corona Extra beer sits on

A bottle of Corona Extra beer sits on display in Philadelphia.  Credit: AP/Matt Rourke

Having a run of bad luck? Stock market swings making you crazy? Obsessed about getting the coronavirus? Is that what’s troubling you, my friend?

Cheer up. For many of us, things could be worse. Just ask the owners of Constellation Brands, maker of Corona beer.

Seems some people may be making a link between the dreaded Coronavirus and Corona the brew.

Constellation is spending $40 million to introduce a Corona-brand hard seltzer. Part of its Twitter pitch includes the phrase “Coming Ashore Soon.” Oh my God!

Constellation Brands said in a statement that customers “understand there’s no link between the virus and our business.”

That’s what people at Ayds diet candy said in the 1980s. When acquired immunodeficiency syndrome struck, it became better known by the acronym AIDS. Meanwhile, Ayds diet candy was running TV ads with the unfortunate slogan, “Why take diet pills when you can enjoy Ayds?”

Still, marketers of Ayds insisted consumers wouldn’t confuse the deadly virus with the diet candy. Not long after, Ayds was history.

How can that be? If there was a sudden outbreak of chickenpox, would you stop eating at Kentucky Fried Chicken or Chick-fil-A? Apparently some would. Sad.

Maggie Bowman, a spokeswoman for Corona, correctly observed that “there’s a good amount of misinformation out there,” but that “consumers, by and large, understand there is no linkage.”

“By and large” being the key words here. 5W Public Relations reports that 38% of Americans wouldn’t buy Corona “under any circumstances” now, supposedly because of the outbreak, according to CNN Business. The company strongly disputes these findings.

If any people have indeed stopped drinking Corona because of the outbreak, they must be the same Einsteins who think you can catch the flu from a computer virus. Or as Judge Judy puts it, “Beauty fades — dumb is forever.”

I enjoy Corona beer, which I will proudly continue to guzzle down. But is the coronavirus not only a test of our pandemic preparedness, but also of our brain cells?

So here’s a toast to Corona beer. Which I’ll be needing plenty of to get me through this coronavirus scare.

And for those of you who actually may be worried about a link between Corona beer and the virus? I am willing to take it off your hands and dispose of it pronto!

Follow playwright Mike Vogel at @mikewrite7.

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