Cai wears gloves while she makes the bouquets (Picture: REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins)

Florist puts hand sanitiser into Valentine's bouquets amid coronavirus outbreak


A florist in Beijing has found a unique solution to help her business, which is suffering a dramatic loss of sales during the coronavirus outbreak – including hand sanitiser with her bouquets.

Cai Xiaoman is a flower seller in the city and has experienced a 90% drop in sales since the virus began.

This is due to quarantines in place in Hubei province where coronavirus is thought to have originated, and many people choosing to stay at home to avoid catching or spreading the illness which has killed 1,400 people in China.

Cai recently received a call from a customer asking if she could sanitise the flowers before delivering them, which gave her an idea.

Now she includes a free hand sanitiser in all her bouquets in hopes that her Valentine’s Day customers will feel more protected from COVID-19.

‘I think this is very heart-warming, and I want my customers to feel comfortable,’ Cai says.

‘Because now the outbreak is severe, and everyone is scared. I hope this will end soon.’
The mall where Cai’s shop is has been deserted for weeks (Picture: REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins)

She wears a mask and gloves while she prepares the flowers she does sell, and sanitises her own hands regularly to avoid contamination.

The shopping mall she works in is now all but empty, with people forgoing purchasing for fear of catching the virus.
She originally got the idea from a customer (Picture: REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins)

‘I think customers are scared and I’m scared too (about the virus),’ says Cai.

‘But I can do nothing because I opened this flower shop for so many years and I have some old customers and I don’t want to let them down, so that is why I still open it.

‘Usually, I won’t open it (amid the virus outbreak) but there were lots of people asking me whether they can book flowers already before Valentine’s Day.’

Love waits for no virus, apparently.