Stay Safe – Wear a Mask and Pay Attention to New Information

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The Washington Post published an article the other day that I encourage you to read, even scan it, but be aware of it.  They have kindly removed the pay wall.  You can find it here.

The article UPDATES the common symptoms that are being seen in newly infected individuals.  Did you know that digestive problems are showing up in up to 50% of newly infected cases? Loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain or discomfort.

I had no idea.  But now that we are closing in on nine months of pandemic, there is a lot more information about symptoms, duration and thankfully treatment options.

So what’s the big deal Sam?

Well, I along with many of you, I’m sure, am fatigued.  Fatigued with everything to do with this virus and the isolation it has wrought.  Fatigued with the news in particular. 

But as we begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel with the announcement of successful vaccine trials and the potential for vaccinations to start as soon as late December, it is important to remain open to NEW information.

I am doing my best to keep your massage experience as safe as possible.  As my regular clients know:

  • I have a 17 question form that they fill out every time they come for a massage. 
  • I also take their temperature every time they come in for a massage.
  • To make the massage itself as safe as possible, I:
    • Wash my hands before/after every client;
    • I keep the windows open, or the HEPA filter running, or both;
    • I wear a new mask and shirt for each client;
    •  A new blanket is used for each client; and,
    • The room is fully decontaminated after each client.

With the new information from sources such as this Washington Post article, I am adding more screening questions:

  • Have you had any GI issues the last week?
  • Have you had a sore throat, runny nose or congestion?
  • Have you had persistent headaches??

These were not consistent symptoms identified at the end of the spring when I first developed my screening process

And now as we enter the holidays, there are different social dynamics in play.  I am asking screening questions that include:

  • Have you had contact with anyone outside your family circle?  When?  What was the situation (in/outdoors)?
  • Have you had a child come home from college (a new entity in the household)?
    • Is that child staying socially distant from friends?  Or out socializing?
    • Where did they travel from?  Method of travel?
    • What is their testing status?  Last test date?  Has a test been administered 14 days since they arrived home.

Finally, I find pervasive confusion on that last item.  Just because you can go get tested anytime, does not mean you are virus free – no matter what the result.  The virus (like every other virus) has an incubation time.  The COVID-19 incubation time is 5-14 days, according to the CDC.  So, a test today will not pick up a transmission that happened 4 days ago.  The tests are backward looking – as long as 2 weeks ago backward looking.  Thus the need for isolating after traveling, or being in unfamiliar or uncertain circumstances. 

So that’s an update from my world. 

Please be careful in yours. Please wear a mask. If not for yourself, then for friends, family, the grocery store clerks or people you don’t really know, but have some peripheral contact with.  Let’s all stay healthy until we have the opportunity to get vaccinated!

Be well.  Sam

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