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Business drops in the event planning industry and doctors' offices buckle down on patient visits

"It is a scary situation that I've never experienced in my 44-years of business," said Debbie Ellis, Debbie’s Flowers owner.

MEMPHIS, Tennessee —

In the event planning industry, there has been a lot of postponing. There are some businesses where postponing just simply isn't an option. 

"It is a scary situation that I've never experienced in my 44-years of business," said Debbie Ellis, Debbie’s Flowers owner 

Since the coronavirus outbreak, companies like Ellis’ have seen a drop in business.  

"We've had a couple of parties that cancelled. Right now, no weddings have cancelled, but they are saying anyone with a crowd of over 50, that is a possibility," said Ellis.  

For her, postponing an order does not work because she’s dealing with flowers.  

"It's a channel of the airlines to the wholesalers to us. If large events are cancelled, the wholesalers are not going to be able to sell their product if they're not able to get the product flown in. We are not going to be able to service your wedding with pink peonies if we're not able to get them flown in," said Ellis. 

She also provides flowers for the Germantown Methodist gift shop.  

"Just to walk in the front door and go to the right of the gift shop, my driver has to be screened and temperature checked to make each delivery," said Ellis.  

It may slow things down a bit, but Ellis has her grandchildren, who are on extended Spring Break, to help.  

"It feels good to be able to help out instead of be stuck in work at school," said Sara Holloway, Ellis’ granddaughter.  

The Centers for Disease Control recommends gatherings of only 50 people or less, so a few businesses away from Debbie’s Flowers is a doctor’s office that is taking the recommendation seriously. Patients must wait outside the office in order to be called inside.  

"People must realize. This coronavirus is serious," said Michael Moore, a patient. "What he's doing is he's taking one patient in the back and then he's taking one patient in the waiting room." 

You can only enter when a patient exists.  

"They're telling us that the appointment time doesn't matter. It's first come, first serve. They're pretty much not letting anybody in the lobby because of the coronavirus. Trying to keep the exposure down just in case, which is understandable," said Lindsey Kelly. She took her parents to the doctor.  

Some patients felt the change was an inconvenience, but others understood. 

"There's supposed to be a six-foot rule in between people and if there is, it cannot be spread," said Moore. "The doc is doing the best he can to get people in and out without getting the coronavirus." 

"With everything being so chaotic and everything, it doesn't surprise me. I expected it," said Kelly. 

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