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The coronavirus has led to the cancellation of the Saint Patrick’s Day parade in New York, the South by Southwest festival in Austin, and in-person college classes around the country, but there’s one event that’s continuing apace: a Fendi sample sale in Central London. BBC journalist Karen Morrison shared a photo of the line snaking around the block outside the store Arlettie, which hosts many such sample sales. Today’s just happens to be Fendi.
Yes, social distancing is important to slow the spread of the disease, but you have to admire the commitment to getting a cheap Baguette bag here. Several people in the photo are wearing masks. The luxury sector has been hit hard by the coronavirus — one report says it could lose up to $43 billion in sales.
Imagine the mental calculus at play here: On the one hand, we should be home. On the other hand, probably some other people stayed home, which means more for us. And we’re stimulating the economy, kind of! I don’t know if sample sales count.
It reminds me of the French Smurf cosplayers, one of whom said, “Being a part of the largest public gathering of Smurfs is worth my time, disease or no disease.” In the Smurf case, one French mayor said, “We must not stop living.” To that, those in line at the Fendi sample sale say, “Oui.”