Making money off masks coronavirus-gear store with location in Colorado intends to become obsolete

Colorado News

By Markian Hawryluk, Kaiser Health News

LONE TREE — Darcy Velasquez, 42, and her mother, Roberta Truax, were walking recently in the Park Meadows mall about 15 miles south of downtown Denver, looking for Christmas gifts for Velasquez’s two children, when they spotted a store with a display of rhinestone-studded masks.

It’s an immutable truth of fashion: Sparkles can go a long way with a 9-year-old.

The store is called COVID-19 Essentials. And it may well be the country’s first retail chain dedicated solely to an infectious disease.

COVID-19 IN COLORADO

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With many U.S. stores closing during the coronavirus pandemic, especially inside malls, the owners of this chain have seized on the empty space, as well as the world’s growing acceptance that wearing masks is a reality that may last well into 2021, if not longer. Masks have evolved from a utilitarian, anything-you-can-find-that-works product into another way to express one’s personality, political leanings or sports fandom.

And the owners of COVID-19 Essentials are betting that Americans are willing to put their money where their mouth is. Prices range from $19.99 for a simple children’s mask to $130 for the top-of-the-line face covering, with an N95 filter and a battery-powered fan.

Almost all shops and many pop-up kiosks in the Park Meadows mall now sell masks. But COVID-19 Essentials also carries other accessories for the pandemic, in a space that has a more established feel than a holiday pop-up store; permanent signage above its glass doors includes a stylized image of a coronavirus particle. Nestled beside the UNTUCKit shirt store and across from a Tesla showroom, it has neither the brand recognition nor the track record of a J.C. Penney. But longevity doesn’t seem to have helped that clothing chain or many others escape industry upheaval during the pandemic. According to analysts at S&P Global Market Intelligence, retail bankruptcies from January to mid-August reached a 10-year-high.

Not that the COVID-19 Essentials owners want their products to be in demand forever.

MÁS: Lea este artículo en español.

“I can’t wait to go out of business eventually,” said Nadav Benimetzky, a Miami retailer who founded COVID-19 Essentials, which now has eight locations around the country.

That seemed to be the attitude of most of the customers who walked into the store on a recent Friday afternoon. Most understood the need for masks — face coverings are required to even enter the mall — and thus they recognized the business case for a COVID-19 store. Still, they hoped masks would soon go the way of bell-bottoms or leg warmers. For the time being, they’re making the best of the situation.

Nathan Chen, who owns the Lone Tree store with Benimetzky, previously ran a different store at the Denver airport, but as air travel declined, a COVID-focused business seemed a much better venture. The pandemic giveth and the pandemic taketh away.

Benimetzky opened the first COVID-19 Essentials store in the Aventura Mall in suburban Miami after seeing the demand for N95 masks early in the pandemic. “They’re ugly and uncomfortable, and everybody hates them,” he said. “I piggybacked off of that. If you’re going to wear a mask, you might as well make it fashionable and pretty.”

The COVID-19 Essentials chain recognizes that mask-wearing is more than a temporary inconvenience — it may become the norm well into 2021, or longer. (Markian Hawryluk/KHN)

That could mean a sequin or satin mask for more formal occasions, or the toothy grin of a skull mask for casual affairs. Some masks have zippers to make eating easier, or a hole for a straw, with a Velcro closure for when the cup is sucked dry.

The chain has locations in New York City, New Jersey, Philadelphia and Las Vegas, and is looking to open stores in California, where wildfires have only added to the demand for masks.

Initially, the owners really weren’t sure the idea would fly. They opened the first store just as malls were reopening following the lockdowns.

“We really didn’t grasp how big it would get,” Benimetzky said. “We didn’t go into it with the idea of opening many stores. But we got busy from the second we opened.”

Nancy Caeti, 76, stopped in the Lone Tree store to buy masks for her grandchildren. She bought one with a clear panel for her granddaughter, whose sign language instructor needs to see her lips moving. She bought her daughter, a music teacher and Denver Broncos fan, a mask with the football team’s logo.

“I lived through the polio epidemic,” Caeti said, as her latex-gloved hand inserted her credit card into the card reader. “It reminds me of that, but that I don’t think was as bad.” She recalled how her mother had lined her and her siblings up to get the polio vaccine, and said she’d be first in line for a COVID shot.

That perhaps is the one essential the store does not carry. It hawks keylike devices for opening doors and pressing elevator buttons without touching them. Some have a built-in bottle opener. There are ultraviolet-light devices for disinfecting phones and upscale hand sanitizer that employees spray on customers as if it were a department store perfume sample.

Face masks have evolved from a utilitarian product into a customized accessory for personal expression. (Markian Hawryluk/KHN)

But the masks are the biggest draw. The store can personalize them with rhinestone letters or the kind of iron-on patches that teens once wore on their jeans.

Upon entry, customers can check their temperature with a digital forehead scanner with audible directions: “Step closer. Step closer. Temperature normal. Temperature normal.”

The store also has added a sink near the entrance so customers can wash their hands before handling the merchandise.

Some mallgoers walk by the store in bewilderment, stopping to take photos to post to social media with a you’ve-got-to-be-kidding message. One older white couple in matching masks noticed a mask emblazoned with the slogan “Black Lives Matter” in the storefront display, and walked away in disgust.

The store takes no political sides; there are three designs of President Donald Trump campaign masks, two for Democratic presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden. One woman, who declined to give her name, came in wearing a mask below her nose and wondered whether a Trump mask would fit her smallish face. The Trump masks are among the more popular sellers, Chen said, so he keeps them in a bigger cabinet to accommodate the extra stock. It’s not clear if that will forecast the election results, as some have posited with Halloween mask sales.

Daniel Gurule, 31, stopped by the mall on his lunch hour to pick up an Apple Watch but ventured into the store for a new mask. He said that he normally wore a vented mask but that not all places allowed those. (They protect users but not the people around them.) He bought a $24.99 mask with the logo of the Denver Nuggets basketball team.

“It takes away a little bit of our personalities when everybody is walking around in disposable masks,” Chen said. “It kind of looks like a hospital, like everybody is sick.”

Most of the masks are sewn specifically for the chain, including many by hand. One of their suppliers is a family of Vietnamese immigrants who sew masks at their Los Angeles home, Benimetzky said. Chen said that it was hard to keep masks in stock, and that every day it seemed some other design became their best seller.

Dorothy Lovett, 80, paused outside the store, leaning on a cane with an animal print design.

“I had to back up and say, ‘What the heck is this?’” she said. “I’ve never seen a mask store before.”

She perused the display case, noting she needed to find a better option than the cloth version she was wearing.

“I can’t breathe in this one,” said Lovett, who is white, before deciding on her favorite. “I like the Black Lives Matter mask.”

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Ice packs on belly, thighs drives “browning” of fat

Ice packs on belly, thighs drives “browning” of fat
Source: https://northdenvernews.com/ice-packs-on-belly-thighs-drives-browning-of-fat/
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Daylight Saving Time Increases Driving Danger

While the Sunday start of daylight saving time means that Spring is in sight, it also carries with it one fewer hour of shut-eye and a shift in our sleeping patterns that can spell disaster on our roadways.

All told, sleep-deprived drivers cause more than 6,400 deaths and 50,000 debilitating injuries on American roadways each year, per the National Sleep Foundation. And, according to the Colorado Department of Transportation, driver fatigue was a contributing factor in 1,058 crashes in the state in 2016.

“It takes two weeks for most of us adjust to the shorter nights and our new sleep schedules,” said AAA Colorado spokesman Skyler McKinley. “Between now and then, we’re all especially exposed to the risks of drowsy driving. Drivers should begin adjusting their sleep habits now to make sure they get at least seven hours of sleep before getting behind the wheel.”

Activist says Jamie Giellis lying about role in homeless tiny houses project

Activist says Jamie Giellis lying about role in homeless tiny houses project
read more: http://northdenvernews.com/tag/Jamie-Giellis
An activist and former nonprofit exact of director has charged Denver mayoral candidate Jaime Giellis with lying about her level of involvement in the creation of a pathbreaking homelessness prevention project.

The story exploded virally over the past week, as homeless advocate PJ Damico took on a claim made by Giellis in a campaign email. Damico’s charge that Giellis is lying underscores the fundamental weaknesses is her candidacy— her very thin Denver roots and the fact her campaign appears to be the wholly owned subsidiary of a handful of Denver developers.

Damico posted on Facebook: “I want to set the record straight. Aside from having RINO send a reluctant letter of support after the train had left the station Jamie Giellis(candidate for mayor) had NOTHING to do with creating the tiny home village in RiNo and of course neither did Michael Hancock until after many of us were arrested and forced the issue into the New York Times.”

“After securing the land many efforts I made to seek support from the developers in RiNo (Kyle, Andrew and others — all Jamie’s primary backers fell on deaf ears). Ask Jamie how much money RINO committed to the village? Ask her is she went to a single zoning meeting? Ask her how many nights she slept outside over the past four years to get the tiny home village established. Ask her how many times she was arrested? Ask her if she has a restraining order for her activism? “

“This is what makes me sick about neoliberal policiticans being trumped up by the very developer interests ruining our city. “

“ I was there. You were not. How can we trust you if your very Campaign is a lie!!!!”

The comments on the original post became a firestorm of their own. Damico charged, “Jamie was also put up by Andrew and Kyle Zeppelin as their crony capitalist to sabotage Lisa Calderon’s campaign the backstory as bloody as hell but there’s no way ‘Jamie can be elected mayor she represents the worst interest of our city.”
http://jamiegiellis.com
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC7RMTRCAAPsYaRKyPHvYgTg

#JamieGiellis,#DenverMayor, #Denver

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Tay Anderson strongest school board candidate Denver Public Schools 2019

Safeguarding our Neighborhood Schools
Neighborhood schools, when robustly invested in, can be the change agents for our most marginalized students. They can close achievement gaps and prepare students for college. The closing of neighborhood schools is a burden for parents and creates challenges in equity for students. I will work to recover and safeguard neighborhood schools and curb charter school expansion. Not one more neighborhood school closure!
Investing In Our Teachers We have a huge challenge ahead of us in hiring, recruiting, and retaining more teachers. I will focus on creating a rich, dynamic work environment for teachers, while also working to redefine the standards by which teachers are evaluated. The success of our teachers cannot be judged by tests! We have a responsibility to lift our teachers up so our students can take on the world.
School to Prison Pipelines. According to the Department of Education, in the United States, black students make up 18 percent of children enrolled in preschools, and 48 percent of these kids experience more than one out-of-school suspension. Creating a culturally rich curriculum and doubling down on diversity training for teachers and staff can go a long way in putting students of color on the road to success, not prison!
Diversity is our Strength Denver is home to an amazingly diverse population. District four is a minority majority district with well over half the student population being students of color. How wonderful that our children are exposed to the diversity available in our district! Schools should foster a safe learning environment for students to thrive and take advantage of all the opportunities that come with a high school diploma.
Homeless Students
I have experienced homelessness and I know what it feels like to be on your own. I was labeled an unaccompanied youth by Denver Public Schools. To those students and families who have been homeless- I understand what you are going through. We won’t let our situations hinder us from our education. I will always put our students first. We will make more programs available to our students, because every student is bigger than their story!
Lunch Program We need to improve our lunch program in Denver Public Schools so that all students have the sufficient nutrients they deserve. The majority of our students do not like the lunch program, and I will be traveling the district listening to our students to hear what they want. As a member of the Denver School Board, I will bring a new lunch plan before the board so we can spark a discussion to put our students lunch as a priority.

Another Strike vs The Background Of Bad Education Reform – AnneRoweDPS.com

Denver: Another Strike Versus The Background Of Bad Education Reform


https://annerowedps.com/

Back in 2005, the district employed Michael Bennet, who had no background in education but was the mayor’s chief of personnel with a background in turning around stopping working business for an financial investment company. Bennet brought in other outsiders to form a community group (A+ Denver) along with some other education philanthropists to “pressure” the district. The chosen design was a portfolio model. Think of this type of design as a forced merger in between public and charter schools, with the resulting entity run by charter viewpoint. Or, offered the portfolio focus on continually closing bottom-ranked schools, you can believe of the portfolio model as trying to fire your method to quality on the institutional scale. Since 2005, Denver has closed 48 schools and opened 70; most of the brand-new schools are charter schools. Denver under portfolios is a slow-motion design of turning a public school system personal, a New Orleans without a Katrina to clean out the public system in one fell swoop.
To keep the ed reform model in place requires a Denver school board that is reform-friendly, and so the politics and loan surrounding Denver school board races have actually been abnormally tempestuous. By 2013, huge loan was a regular feature of the elections, with the 2015 race illustration hundreds of thousands of out-of-state contributions, most funneled through Democrats for Education Reform and their activist arm, Education Reform Now Action (ERNA is not needed to recognize its factors). Twenty fifteen marked a effective race for reform prospects, however 2017, though it featured even more loan (almost three-quarters of a million from ERNA alone) saw 2 of the 4 reform-supporting incumbents defeated. Turns out not everyone thinks the reformsters are headed in the right direction.

Another Strike Versus The Background Of Bad Education Reform – AnneRoweDPS.com

Denver: Another Strike Versus The Background Of Bad Education Reform


https://annerowedps.com/

Back in 2005, the district employed Michael Bennet, who had no background in education but was the mayor’s chief of personnel with a background in turning around stopping working business for an financial investment company. Bennet brought in other outsiders to form a community group (A+ Denver) along with some other education philanthropists to “pressure” the district. The chosen design was a portfolio model. Think of this type of design as a forced merger in between public and charter schools, with the resulting entity run by charter viewpoint. Or, offered the portfolio focus on continually closing bottom-ranked schools, you can believe of the portfolio model as trying to fire your method to quality on the institutional scale. Since 2005, Denver has closed 48 schools and opened 70; most of the brand-new schools are charter schools. Denver under portfolios is a slow-motion design of turning a public school system personal, a New Orleans without a Katrina to clean out the public system in one fell swoop.
To keep the ed reform model in place requires a Denver school board that is reform-friendly, and so the politics and loan surrounding Denver school board races have actually been abnormally tempestuous. By 2013, huge loan was a regular feature of the elections, with the 2015 race illustration hundreds of thousands of out-of-state contributions, most funneled through Democrats for Education Reform and their activist arm, Education Reform Now Action (ERNA is not needed to recognize its factors). Twenty fifteen marked a effective race for reform prospects, however 2017, though it featured even more loan (almost three-quarters of a million from ERNA alone) saw 2 of the 4 reform-supporting incumbents defeated. Turns out not everyone thinks the reformsters are headed in the right direction.

Andrew Romanoff – US Senate Colorado 2020 – draftromanoff.com

Join Us! https://draftromanoff.com
Andrew Romanoff served in the Colorado House of Representatives from 2001 to 2009 and as Speaker of the House from 2005 to 2009. He earned bipartisan acclaim as one of the most effective legislative leaders in America.

Andrew authored the Colorado Economic Recovery Act (Referendum C) and Building Excellent Schools Today (BEST), the largest investment in school construction in state history. He also sponsored laws to improve access to mental health care, expand the supply of affordable housing, and protect the victims of domestic violence and sexual assault.

More than 50 state and national organizations have honored Andrew’s leadership. In 2008, Governing Magazine named him “Public Official of the Year.”

Andrew earned a bachelor’s degree with honors at Yale, a master’s degree in public policy at Harvard, and a juris doctorate at the University of Denver. He taught high school in Central America and speaks fluent Spanish.
#2020 #copols #draftromanoff