The idea of “COVID fatigue” has been discussed for some time, but I think we’re now well and truly there. Canadians are tired of hearing about the pandemic, and tired of having to think about protecting themselves and others every time they leave the house. Things are opening up, thankfully, and people are eager to move on. Yet COVID is still with us.
So where do we go from here?
It’s something I’ve been grappling with this week as I take on the task of updating client communications for Massago and Sanctuary Day Spas, with public health measures for COVID ending on April 27 in Ontario. I’ve been advised that people have had enough of hearing from businesses about their COVID protocols. At the same time, I’ve heard from a number of friends and family recently who have tested positive for COVID. It’s a reminder that we need to remain vigilant.
As challenging as COVID has made things for our businesses, I have to admit that turning up the dial on cleaning and sanitation protocols was well within my comfort zone. In fact, family and staff have both accused me a being a germaphobe. I’m kind of obsessed with keeping things clean and sanitary.
I have to say I’m impressed by the number of people still choosing to wear a mask in public despite mandates being lifted. It’s good to see people making decisions for themselves, based on their health needs and the information they’ve gathered over the past 2 years. I wonder if this trend of people being more aware of their symptoms in an effort to help stop the spread of a virus will continue. I think we’re all guilty, pre-COVID, of attending a work meeting or family function with a cold, or of sending kids to school with symptoms. It’s nice to see people taking seriously their responsibility to help protect others.
Despite there being a light at the end of the pandemic tunnel, I don’t think we can go forward as if the past two years didn’t happen. We need to learn from our experiences. I’ve flown a couple times in the past six months and was thrilled to see some of the measures taken by the airline industry to keep things clean – I hope this sticks.
For our own businesses, there will be different protocols for different services for a while. The College of Massage Therapists of Ontario considers all RMT practice settings to be health care settings for the purposes of the masking mandate. This means that both RMTs and clients must wear masks, but that’s not the case for aesthetic services.
The upside of the pandemic for the wellness and beauty industry as a whole may be that it has raised the bar on safe operating practices. Clients should expect and insist on the highest hygiene and safety standards. I want it to be something that makes Massago and Sanctuary stand out – and I’m happy to shine a light on this, even if it means mentioning COVID.
As I write this, I hear the local news warning us of a sixth wave. While I admit that I’ve become numb to these types of news stories, I’ve learned that there are no certainties with this pandemic. This was evident with the latest round of mandated closures early this year, which I did not see coming. While I’m hopeful the updates we’re making to our business information will be final, I can’t be certain. Having said that, I am certain of our commitment to the health and safety of our clients and staff. And this is a good segue into introducing the measures we’re taking at both companies: