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‘It’s the worst it’s ever been’: coronavirus plays havoc on a Sydney main street

‘It’s the worst it’s ever been’: coronavirus plays havoc on a Sydney main street

The florist In a suburban shopping strip on Sydney’s Great North Road, Anne Koh opens the door to her cool room. The shelves are sparsely stocked – and not because she’s struggling to keep up with demand. Koh manages the Garden of Eden florist in Five Dock and as the economic effects of the Covid-19 pandemic take hold people aren’t really buying at all. Most of the businesses on Five Dock’s Great North Road are feeling the effects of measures put in place to deal with coronavirus. Photograph: Jessica Hromas/The Guardian “Normally we have a lot of flowers in the cool room. But I have to explain to customers we only have little flowers to choose from,” Koh says. “Today, I haven’t had a customer. You can see lots of people on the street, but they’re busy buying something else.” It’s been like this all week. The Morrison government’s social distancing measures are beginning to be felt, after the first major announcements restricting gatherings last Friday. Koh is prepared for things to get much worse over the next month. Anne Koh, the manager of Garden of Eden florist, in her cold room, says the lack of business for her has a knock-on effect for others. Photograph: Jessica Hromas/The Guardian Outside, people are shopping and at first glance life looks to be rolling on as normal. But they’re going to the supermarket, the chemist, the butcher, the deli. They’re not stopping at the florist, even if flowers are that thing we give at times of significance, celebration or trouble. It is, says Koh, having knock-on effects. “We don’t have customers, so we don’t get to go to the market. We don’t have garbage, so I call the garbage collector and say ‘don’t come tomorrow’. It’s affecting everything,” she says. Morrison […]

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