AKRON- The doors are closed until further notice at Coming Attractions Bridal and Formal on Tallmadge Avenue in Akron; and for the first time in 20 years, no one knows when they’ll re-open.
“Right now our voice mail system has 800 messages on it,” said owner, Don Younker.
He told FOX 8 News Reporter Lorrie Taylor no bride will be denied her wedding gown. He was loading customer orders for delivery Monday afternoon. Younker said he was not in the store on October 11, when Dallas nurse Amber Vinson spent three hours shopping with her bridesmaids; his wife was.
Vinson was diagnosed with Ebola after her visit to Northeast Ohio.
“She’s pretty tough, but you know, obviously this would frazzle anybody,” he said, when asked how his wife was dealing with the situation.
Mrs. Younker is being monitored twice daily by the Summit County Health Department, as a precaution; Younker said their 10-year-old has been asked not to return to school for the time being.
Younker told Taylor, despite the fact that officials from the Centers for Disease Control told him there was no need to close the store, he went one step further and hired a New Jersey company that typically sterilizes hospitals, to sterilize his shop.
“Their system is called the Torch and it’s a high-intensity ultraviolet system,” he said, explaining how the system kills viruses.
Younker said he posted pictures to Coming Attraction’s Facebook page in an effort to keep customers informed. He also invited Taylor and her photographer inside, where a representative of the Summit County Health department confirmed they were not at risk.
“So what was it that made you say, ‘Let’s close the store,'” asked Taylor?
“Well, first of all, I have no employees,” said Younker, “Cause all my employees won’t come to work because they’re all flipped out, and of course, their spouses and significant others, many of them have been told to stay home,” he said, describing the domino effect Vinson’s visit has had on his staff and their loved ones.
Younker said he and his wife harbor no ill will toward the 29-year-old nurse for the impact she’s had on their lives, their livelihoods and possibly—their futures.
“I feel horrible for her. Could you imagine, her entire life; this isn’t her fault,” he insisted.
Younker told Taylor he and his wife have no idea what lies in store. He said their insurance company doesn’t know how to respond to a situation with which it’s had no experience, and he doesn’t know if business will ever again be what it was in a world where fear is often more persuasive than fact.