What a strange year 2020 has been. I broke my ankle on the 2nd January, so couldn’t work for 10 weeks. Then I opened for 2 weeks again, then had to close on 21st March due to Coronavirus. I hope if you are reading this, that yourself, and all your family and friends have managed to stay safe and well, solvent, sane, and that lockdown has been manageable for you. Tough times indeed.
The government eventually gave us therapists go ahead to reopen from Monday 13th July, with limited clients and reduced treatment times. We obviously all also took advice from our insurers, and all the professional therapy bodies too, before we re-commenced treatments. I followed all the lockdown rules to the letter, and took all necessary precautions with regards keeping myself, my daughter, and our home/clinic Covid-free during this time, to ensure that my home clinic was as safe as it possibly could be for re-opening.
In preparation, I purchased disposable masks and gloves for clients – so in the first few months back I am unable to massage faces and hands, as these are the most direct sites for contagion. I stripped the treatment room right back, taking away curtains and rugs, and have had to lose of a lot of the ‘cosy’ bits just for the time being, to ensure that I can clean and disinfect the room between clients most effectively. I invested in a Contactless Thermometer which I am using on the doorstep to check clients before entering, and am also wearing a facemask and visor myself, which will both be replaced between clients, and am changing my clothes between clients too.
I completed a full risk assessment, and have a list of Covid questions on the doorstep that clients must answer before coming in. There are now bigger time gaps in between clients too, to give me sufficient time to clean everything effectively and to ensure that no clients come into contact with one another, and I have individual hand flannels and disposable hand towels in the bathroom if anyone does need to use it. I have soap, handgel and 70% advanced alcohol-based hand sanitiser available, so that clients can use whatever they prefer, and of course all couch covers, towels, face cradles etc., are changed for every single client for every single treatment, to ensure no cross-contamination. PPE is disposed off as clients leave the clinic.
Obviously with massage, we cannot socially distance, so treatment will never be 100% safe, and I am relying completely on all of my clients to only come for treatment if they know they are symptom-free, but I can only promise to do my very best to protect everyone at this time, and keep this a safe space. I also completed the ‘Barbicide Covid-19 Certification’ for getting back to work safely.
I have SO looked forward to being able to get back to normal. I missed treating my clients so very much…I love what I do…but I also missed their company, their stories, and being a part of their wellbeing, so it is wonderful now that I have made a start, and can see and treat them all again. My clients have been wonderfully supportive throughout this time, as I hope I have been to them too – we will get there! Onwards and upwards….