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Coronavirus: California florists sell more wreaths ahead of Valentine’s Day amid pandemic

CA, 08 Feb 2021
For florists across the U.S., February 2021 is like no other year as florists are seeing an increase in selling COVID-19 wreaths ahead of Valentine’s Day due to deaths caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Mark Chatoff, the CEO of the California Flower Mall, one of the country's largest markets in downtown Los Angeles, said when California imposed its first lockdown last March, some florists closed down because weddings, graduations, conventions and other big events ended almost overnight – then came pandemic funerals.

This month, Chatoff said, "it's both Valentine's Day and funerals. We've been busy because of the funerals. It's bittersweet. We are busy for the wrong reasons."

Maria Alvarez, a flower seller in Los Angeles, said her store managers at David's Flowers had been forced to turn away families asking for funeral flowers because of the Valentine's Day demand.

Flower sellers' US$35 billion-industry is perhaps more involved in family joy, grief and milestones than any other.

As Valentine’s Day approaches, the COVID-19 death toll is at over 450,000 in the U.S. In many states, death rates are still at record daily highs.

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