I’d like to start talking a little bit more about the risks of massage during COVID-19 so that you know what you’re getting into if you decide to come in for an appointment. To start with, let’s look at one of the biggest factors… close contact.
We all have heard from the start of the pandemic… keep at least six feet away from each other – whether it was with or without masks. Now, the popular scientific community opinion is to wear a mask, but still stay six feet apart. I don’t know if you’ve had a massage recently… but we’re not six feet apart.
Working Around Close Contact Rules
So, I’m asking everyone to wear a mask and stay as far from me as my office space will allow until you get on the table. At this point, you’re still keeping a mask on, or are face down with the pillowcase acting as a mask. However, even though I have on an apron, mask, and face shield, we are nowhere near six feet apart. Sorry, but my arms just aren’t that long.
I realized how fleeting the protection is from the face masks and shield when I feel a puff of breath from a client. That means that somehow “vapors” from that client are still reaching me, and mine are probably reaching them. Granted, since we’re both wearing masks, the risk is greatly decreased, but as I like to keep saying THERE ARE NO GUARANTEES.
Well Great, Now What?
To start with, make sure the mask you’re wearing to your massage appointment fits well. There shouldn’t be big gaps on either side of your nose, blowing breath upwards. Nor should there be gaps pooching out at the sides, blowing breath out to the sides. (You might have noticed, I’m kind of all over the place during a massage.)
I’m wearing a face shield, which helps, but I think I’m going to look into one that actually fits the opposite way of traditional face shields. I like to call it the “half a doggy cone of shame”. The traditional top-down shields still leave space below for your breath to float up and mine to flow down, which is the part that is really close to you, especially when I’m working on your neck (and I don’t think you want me to skip working on your neck).
Think Outside the Appointment
Consider these risks and ask yourself if you are healthy enough to risk the chance of exposure. But also, think about beyond just you and me. I’m doing my best to stay healthy and not become exposed to COVID-19.
What if I am? What if you get that call from me that says I had a client who tested positive for COVID-19? Do you feel like being in close contact with someone is worth the risk? Is there someone that you don’t want to bring that risk home to? It’s a lot to think about, I know. But it’s important to consider all the risks when deciding to schedule a massage during this pandemic.
As always, I appreciate your thoughtfulness and patience. Stay negative.
Thank you, Tricia.
While knowledge is always a good thing, it can sometimes make you want to cry. We aren’t in a high risk area at this point but that undercurrent of worry is always there now. I’m doing okay for now, I hope you are doing the same. Your quirky sense of humor will help us both through this!