Vaccines and the bittersweet mall departure of Godiva

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Good afternoon,

The big story over the weekend involved the Saturday Covid-19 drive-up vaccinations.

Delaware set a goal of vaccinating more than 11,000 people. The milestone was achieved, but not without some pain at DMV sites in Georgetown and Delaware City.

On Saturday, many problems ranging from cranky computer systems that were not made for cold weather to filling out required paperwork led to traffic back-ups. It made life miserable for seniors, some on the fragile side, who endured lengthy waits.

Compounding the problems was a clueless element that believed vaccine would be offered without pre-registration.

Social media, the source of some of the misinformation contributing to the drive-up vaccinations problems, was filled with angry posts that called for firings and other measures.

By Sunday, improvements had been made, and praise for the dedicated staff at the events was far more common than complaints.

Delaware needed to go through the early pain to ensure these mass events function smoothly as the state deals with 200,000 people over 65 and some essential workers in the 1B category.

In the meantime, those in Phase 1B should check out other options that include vaccination programs that are getting up and running at local pharmacies, as well as contacting their family physician to see if the vaccine is available. Employers should stay up to speed in ensuring that their staffs have accurate information.

A degree of patience is needed as well as continued use of masks. There have been scattered reports of people not wearing masks due to vaccination optimism.

With only five to six percent of the population getting inoculated, 700 new cases a day, and a new strain that can be spread more easily, it is no time to believe that things are back too normal.

Finally, vaccine supplies are tight. Last week, Delaware received about 19,000 doses, not near enough. Mass vaccinations on the last weekend scale would quickly exhaust supplies, a situation we see in neighboring Maryland and other states.

Godiva to ride away from mall

One of the mainstays of Christiana Mall is closing.

Numerous media reports confirmed that Godiva is closing all of its U.S. chocolate stores.

The Christiana Godiva dates back to the days when the mall had many locally owned businesses. Many of us rushed to Godiva around the holidays or on Valentine’s Day.

While the company says non-mall sales are strong, the brand had gotten tired over the years. The family-owned Belgian company was sold to soup giant Campbell and later to a Turkish conglomerate.

Plans for cafes that would build year-around businesses did not appear to work out, and smaller competitors with even higher-priced offerings nipped away at its market. The store count was a modest 128, with a sizable presence on the coasts.

The final blow came with the pandemic and lengthy mall closings.

The Godiva store is located in a heavily trafficked area of the mall. I imagine that it won’t take mall management very long to find a replacement.

Godiva stores are expected to stick around past Valentine’s Day.

Have a great evening. This newsletter returns tomorrow:- Doug Rainey, chief content officer.

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