One particularly naughty American colonel was at the center of COVID-controversy yesterday, just days after Yangon’s citizens returned to total government-mandated lockdown.
Orders for Yangon’s non-essential workers to stay home in the face of skyrocketing COVID-19 cases had left the streets in relative desolation – until on-demand delivery service FoodPanda launched a promotion with Kentucky Fried Chicken that hit consumers right in their homebound, chicken-craving sweet spot.
It began Wednesday with a zombie horde of pink-jerseyed Pandas descending upon unsuspecting eateries across metropolitan Yangon as FoodPanda’s 50% KFC discount began in earnest. By lunchtime Thursday, the demand for KFC had reached epidemic proportions, with hour-long queues forming, and bike jockeys pouring from the fast food giant’s doors. A corresponding social media reaction was quick to follow.
The sheer number of social media posts documenting the great chicken run suggests many were undeterred by the threat of fines and jail time from walking the streets of Myanmar, where coronavirus cases have grown over tenfold in just over a month. Photos posted to social media showed restaurants swarming with FoodPanda personnel, many of whom appeared maskless.
“That juicy piece of chicken could be your last meal… How about enforcing some Covid19 preventative measures #KFC and #FoodPanda?” Facebooker Ko Min Lwin warned ominously.
“KFC Sanchaung: World Record KFC FoodPanda order – at least 25 delivery riders inside. Still Finger Licking Good, even during Covid,” quipped Northern Irish expat Karim Ainsworth, who found himself at the epicenter when stopping by for a simple chicken sandwich.
Ainsworth’s friend, Kaung Htike, was also flabbergasted.
“I first thought they were protesting,” he commented.
A sage reminder that, in times where even The Colonel himself no longer officially endorses anybody to lick their fingers, it is always better to be safe than sorry. And, of course, that it takes more than a devastating global pandemic and emphatic post-military government to get in the way of a good KFC.