I typically don’t get too personal in my monthly newsletter, but since LA County gave the green light to reopen I have been overwhelmed as if I was inside a hamster wheel with a myriad of emotions ranging from happy, hopeful, exhaustion, anxiety, fear, and sadness to name a few. It’s as if the accumulation of everything I have felt in the last three months during the SAH order is hitting me all at once. During the last three months, I gathered a tremendous amount of resolve, focusing on my business, worrying about my business and it’s survival, and the survival of my loved ones, family, friends, and clients. I spent the entire time preparing the studio with safety in mind, not just mine but for anyone who walks through the doors. Without getting too political I am going to say this...I believe this Global Health Pandemic is a serious threat to vulnerable populations and sometimes it seems to have a randomness in who gets caught in the crossfire in regards to the extreme reactions of getting it. As a wellness professional, I serve individuals within these populations and as a wellness professional member of the American Massage Therapy Association I have a Code of Ethics, one I follow and take seriously:
1. Demonstrate commitment to provide the highest quality massage therapy/bodywork to those who seek their professional service.
2. Acknowledge the inherent worth and individuality of each person by not discriminating or behaving in any prejudicial manner with clients and/or colleagues. 3. Demonstrate professional excellence through regular self-assessment of strengths, limitations, and effectiveness by continued education and training. 4. Acknowledge the confidential nature of the professional relationship with clients and respect each client’s right to privacy within the constraints of the law. 5. Project a professional image and uphold the highest standards of professionalism. 6. Accept responsibility to do no harm to the physical, mental, and emotional well-being of self, clients and associates.
In my first weeks back, to my surprise, many have ridiculed and judged my decisions in the changes I have made to my practice. I understand it sucks, it's not the same as it was, but again, my resolve is to survive this pandemic, protect my loved ones and to continue to safely do what I love. How can I maintain my integrity as a socially empathic person following this code of ethics above while working with the public? By diligently considering ALL of my clients….from those who rely on me to aid in their recovery from surgeries to those seeking prevention care. Each one of you has an inalienable intrinsic worth, regardless of your age, sex, race, religion, and political opinions. I have a duty to each of you. This is why I have spent thousands of dollars to prepare my studio (no joke, my savings is gone), why I will continue to send an intake form for every session, why I will change my uniform and mask for each client, why I wear a most uncomfortable face shield, and why I take an hour to properly sanitize the room after each client. Every person who walks into my studio deserves that level of dedication from me. This is why I have made these changes. They are not just recommendations from governing bodies, they are a necessary part of my care because I care about each person coming in for treatment and care.
So I will finish this rant with what I am hoping for in going forward during this unpredictable time. I hope to stay open, I hope I can continue with being healthy, I hope each one of you reading this can understand that every change I have made is with your safety in mind, from the vulnerable to the resilient ones. I hope each of you can put yourself in my shoes, the shoes of a small business owner having to deal with an unprecedented time in my young life. I hope you can understand why I have implemented all of these measures to keep my clients, family, and loved ones safe, so I can continue to keep my doors open, and also think of my business partner who also has an ethical responsibility to her family, clients and loved ones. But the one variable I cannot control and must rely on faith, goodwill and trust, is the people, in general, to carry out their due diligence, ethical, and social conscious duty because it is the people who refuse to follow these preventative steps outside of our studio whom I have no control over. But I do require these changes in the studio for the simple reason that with the reality of our current situation if someone comes into the establishment who hasn't been doing what is being asked of everyone, especially in public, we will be forced to shut down. It will take only one symptomatic or asymptomatic individual coming into our studio exposing me and my business partner. If that happens we will be forced to shut our doors again for two weeks or longer, without pay, thereby putting a further strain on our already empty pockets, impacting our ability to pay bills and jeopardizing our business, and the health of family, friends, clients and loved ones. It's that simple how quick this could turn and be the end for our little studio. So support small businesses by wearing a mask, practicing social distancing and following all the recommendations that have been put in place to protect all people. I am doing this for you and your livelihood. Yes, you could arguably be saving lives, and I can guarantee you will certainly be keeping our Covid-Cute and Covid-Clean business OPEN! Please keep in mind, every choice you make has consequences, not just for you but for others and their lives.
"It's not the tragedy itself that defines your life, it is how you deal with it. "