Eveleth Floral owner concerned with ripple effect of COVID-19 | Local

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EVELETH — Eveleth Floral is blooming with lilies in anticipation of Easter on April 12. But owner Jamie Falkowski wonders how the Coronavirus pandemic will affect area church services and in turn, the flower market.

The proprietor of the century-old shop on Eveleth’s Grant Avenue has a “good $3,500 worth of plants,” she said. There are about 200 Easter lilies growing in the greenhouse and many on order with their distributors in the Twin Cities. “What if they (churches) cancel or if people don’t want to be around crowds?” she said. Deacon Dan Schulz at Holy Spirit Catholic Church in Virginia reassured her that Easter “will still go on.”

Falkowski plans year by year. “I know how many plants they are going to need. I do almost every church in the area, close to 20 churches.”

Another aspect of the springtime floral business — high school dances. The Virginia schools cancelled a semi-formal dance a day before it was to take place, and many students had already ordered corsages. Falkowski gave discounts to the young people when they came to the shop to pay.

Falkowski said the Virginia Figure Skating Club held their annual ice show at Miners Memorial Building last weekend, and the club had invested some $1,000 in roses, carnations and greenery . “We had buckets and buckets of flowers,” Falkowski said. “All the skaters get little bouquets.” About 100 students are in the club. If the show had been cancelled, Falkowski said the man in charge of the Miners remarked there would be “$1,000 worth of flowers with nowhere to go.” And, she said, “They don’t hold up forever in the fridge.”

Falkowski also told of a 50th wedding anniversary party being cancelled because of the Coronavirus scares, and the party planner expressing concern as a large number of elderly people would be attending.

Falkowski also said deliveries to nursing homes and assisted living facilities have necessary restrictions, such as staff meeting delivery staff at the door or just leaving deliveries at the door and taking a picture to verify that the delivery was made.

Another issue is funerals. “How many people won’t go to funerals because of health risks?” she said, adding that she had heard of people employed in the health care field restricted from attending a funeral because of possible exposure to disease.