What’s next? No lime on your margarita to avoid getting Lyme disease?

A new survey has found that more than two-thirds of Americans would not buy Corona beer “under any circumstances” because of the rapidly spreading — and totally unrelated — coronavirus outbreak.

The survey, conducted by public relations agency 5WPR, also found that 14% of people who usually drink the popular beer would not order Corona in public and 16% of beer-drinking Americans were confused about whether Corona has any relation to the new viral infection.

To be clear: the new coronavirus that’s infected more than 80,000 people around the world in recent weeks has absolutely no connection to the Mexican beverage despite their names. The beer is named after the outer atmosphere of the sun while the term coronavirus comes from the Latin word for crown.

But many people in this country do not seem to understand the difference, as another report released this week shows.

British market research firm YouGov found that the avalanche of coronavirus news stories this month has had a negative effect on the Corona brand. The company’s Buzz score, which measures whether U.S. adults have heard anything negative or positive about a brand, has decreased sharply for Corona in the past two weeks — from a high of 75 in January to 51 in late February, according to YouGov.

“Here’s why, as far as we can tell: Corona Extra beer has become part of the story in the coronavirus-dominated news cycle,” the agency said in a report Wednesday.

Indeed, Google searches for “beer virus” and “corona beer virus” have skyrocketed in recent weeks, an odd side effect of the health crisis affecting dozens of countries around the globe.

Constellation Brands, the parent company for Corona beer, said the virus paranoia has had no impact on its sales.

“Corona sales continue to be strong,” spokeswoman Maggie Bowman told Newsweek on Thursday. “There’s misinformation being shared that doesn’t match consumer behavior. By and large, our consumers understand there’s no linkage between the virus and our beer business.”

The mysterious coronavirus is believed to have passed from animals to humans in Wuhan, a crowded metropolis in central China’s Hubei province. The first patients had been to a large seafood and animal market that sells birds, bats, rabbits, hedgehogs, frogs and even snakes. However, Chinese researchers are still investigating the exact origin of the disease.


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