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Resuming Life After COVID-19

The Coronavirus has hit the entire globe like a thunderstorm since January this year. The pandemic, which still causes havoc to many nations has managed to bring the entire global economic structure to its knees. Thus, causing people immense distress both financially and mentally.

The consumer goods and retail industries have reported damages to goods worth millions of Dollars. Malaysian Luxury goods department store ‘Parksons’ employees were left petrified when then resumed work on Monday. “The entire leather collection was ruined. Everything contained moss and fungus and despite us cleaning the products we are unable to sell them as they are discloured” Says Neeson Wong, an employee at Parksons.

 

Parksons is one of the major companies to have been affected. Popular Kuala Lumpur based shopping mall KLCC also reported a few of its stores faced with similar issues. The problem is due to trapped air being sealed off within the premises, without proper ventilation bacteria and mould set in on an organic surface, which resulted in discolouration or fraying.

In Amsterdam Fred Van Tol Manager, Royal Flora Holland reported having destroyed about 400 million Euros in flowers, including 140 million Euros in tulip stems, were destroyed over the past month. “This virus hit us right in the middle of the tulip sales,” Mr. van Tol said. “In total, four weeks out, the turnover is still 50 percent lower than last year.”

Usually March through May would yield sales close to 7 billion Euros with Mother’s Day, International Women’s Day and Easter being the Dutch flower industry’s strongest season.

Usually, the period from March through May — including the weeks in which International Women’s Day, Easter and Mother’s Day fall — is the Dutch flower industry’s strongest season. It pulls in 7 billion euros ($7.6 billion), with an average of $30 million in flowers sold daily. Tulip growers put their wares up for sale starting in March, when the flowers begin to bloom. Tulip season usually lasts about eight weeks.

Frank Uittenbogaard, a director of JUB Holland, a 110-year-old family farm in Noordwijkerhout, made the tough decision to destroy his tulip stems — 200,000 of them. “That hurt a lot,” he said in a telephone interview on Thursday. “It’s very painful because you start in July with digging the bulbs and you have to give them the right treatment to plant them in October, and later move them to the greenhouse. We had very good quality tulips this year. I took my bike and went cycling when they did it because I couldn’t handle it.”

 

Jan de Boer, owner of a global flower export company, said, “I’m optimistic because people will always need flowers, to connect, to be together, to tell a story.”Credit…Ilvy Njiokiktjien for The New York Times

 

Workers throw flowers into a crusher after they did not sell at auction in Aalsmeer, the Netherlands, on Friday.Credit…Ilvy Njiokiktjien for The New York Times

In Kochi, India Over 2 Lakh INR sacks of cement became unusable as store remained close during the lockdown period. According to sources shop owners suffered over 7.5 billion rupees.

Cement manufacturers have refused to accept the unusable stocks and cement hence, leaving nearly 6000 shop owners to bear the losses.

The shop owners demanded that the government provide some sort of a relief scheme in order to ease the losses. “The government must provide necessary assistance to dispose of the cement. Also, immediate order should be issued to open the cement shops,” said Sirajudeen Ilathodi, general secretary of Kerala State Cement Dealers Welfare Association.

Despite the global calamity and economic crisis, we can only hope things would pan out for the better in the near future.

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