I take the welfare of my clients very seriously. I have had Covid, I was fortunate to have a mild case. Even so I would not wish this on anyone. Below are the details of how I am handling my screening, masks, work space, my experience and immunity. I expect these practises to relax over time as guidelines shift, maybe in the summer of 2021?
It is my understanding that your chances of getting Covid are higher if you are pushing yourself hard. To that end please be generous with yourself if you are feeling unwell, run down, or even tired and are thinking about canceling. I am encouraging people to cancel their appointment with me at anypoint upto and even during their session if they feel it is best for them and or others. That being said, the sooner you can let me know the better it is for me. If you are run down because you were being indulgent with your impulses it is still a good idea to cancel. If you also feel like being indulgent with my finances and it is not a burden I am always grateful for the full or any part of the normal exchange for covid cancellations less than 24 hours before a session. At the time I am writing this, about 25% of my clients are canceling so if you want to get on a waitlist for a day that looks fully booked now, just let me know. If you have a thermometer please take your temperature first thing the morning of you appointment and let me know what it is.
After the shutdown and before I gained immunity I was wearing a modified full face Honeywell North 7600 respirator with P100 filters. It was super hard core, super safe and looked ridiculous. There will be a picture of that at the bottom of this page. Now I wear a fresh (new or rested for 10 days) standard non medical N95 for each client. I am confident that covid will not transmit from you to me or to my other clients, or from me or from them to you. And your health is so important to me so please wear a mask, don’t touch your face, and wash or sanitize your hands as needed. If you need a fresh mask or sanitizer and don’t see it, just ask.
Please leave your shoes at the door and wash your hands with soap and water for a long time as soon as you arrive. In the city I have a 600cfm HyperHEPA filter (IQAir HealthPro Compact Plus) that can process the full volume of air in my work space every 8 minutes, though to reduce noise I use a setting that processes the same volume every 15 minutes during the session and ramp it up for a whole hour in between clients. I use two fans to make sure the air processed by the filter exchanges efficiently with the rest of the room instead of just getting sucked back into the filter leaving the rest of the room filtered at a slower rate. I am often able to open the window as well because my generous building heat. Upstate I have a much smaller practice and more massage rooms. I don’t use the same room twice in the same day unless the clients are already in the same pod. I can open the windows and allow plenty of time for the room to heat back up. In both places I sanitize likely touch surfaces with ample 99% isopropyl alcohol, and as needed change my clothes and do extra laundry.
My Covid Details
I have had Covid. My symptoms started on Oct. 1st. I tested positive on Oct. 10 2020, on both antigen and molecular tests for Covid-19. I received my Release from Isolation Notice on Oct. 17th and was told I was no longer contagious even though I may have persistent fatigue and congestion. Because so much seems to be unknown I waited another 17 days before going back to work. It was not until Nov. 28th that the fatigue felt like it was completely gone. My blood oxygen stabilized before I left isolation and was never below 92%. It is hard to track because my O2 goes up and down through the day but it seems like I am still often 1-2 percent lower than before I had covid. At the height of my symptoms I had fever, sore throat, chest pressure, headaches, persistent and specific muscle aches, loss of smell, dizziness, fatigue, and weakness.
I am trusting a lot in my immunity. This might sound funny because I still follow and often exceed all of the precautions specific to my work but as you can see from the picture below I am trying to hold a high bar for safety. I have researched this a lot because I don’t want to risk a reinfection that would then endanger those around me. I would like to share some of what have found. Please also remember that I am not an expert, that this is just my best reading at this time and I am open more information as I get it. 1) Getting sick as a strategy to develop immunity seems like a bad idea. Even if you are willing to gamble your life, you might take someone else down instead, and who wants that kind of karma? Also, the risk of lasting problems even after you have “recovered” is real. You are not just risking your life, and others lives, you are risking the quality of your life and others. 2) There is real longevity to the immunity even when the levels of antibodies drop, as they should in any healthy response. The memory B cells that first produced those antibodies are still around, and standing ready to churn out new batches of antibodies on demand. Survivors of SARS infections in China in 2003, also caused by a coronavirus, still carried testable levels of immune cells 17 years later. 3) Reinfection is super rare. On oct 10th there were 22 confirmed cases of reinfection out of 38.1 million globally. That is a .00000006% chance of reinfection if I am doing the math right. There are probably more cases of reinfection than have been confirmed, but candidates are being studied closely. Early in the pandemic, South Korea’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention studied 285 cases of reinfection. Researchers were unable to grow live virus from any of the samples, and the infected people hadn’t spread the virus to others. It seems that what looks like reinfection is most often a form of non-contagious relapse. So yes, immunity is real, and should be around for years, but we should still take care of ourselves and not push too hard or let ourselves get run down. Also, I’m still wearing a mask. If you have read all of this, thank you!
The picture below is my covid work rig from before I had immunity. Now I just wear an N95 mask.