(Update: 8/8/20, 8/3/20 Reopening Plan link updated. Originally posted: 7/28/20)
Clarity is key. On July 20th, the Mercury News published that “Californians will finally be able to get their hair cut, nails done and body massaged anywhere in the state — so long as they’re OK doing it outside.” However, this is not (yet) true for Alameda County per their Reopening Plan as of July 22nd, where “reopening remains paused due to continued elevated disease transmission and State restrictions.” Here’s the latest Alameda County “Situation Update” as of August 4th.
As of August 7th, the City of Oakland’s Economic & Workforce Development Department reminds us that “While the Governor announced plans for opening of outdoor salons last week, the current Alameda County Health Order does not allow salons, barbershops and personal services (nails, tattoos and massage) to operate. Local orders prevail in areas where they are more restrictive than the State order.”
What does this mean for massage? Even if we feel healthy, are taking all the precautions, and could consider working with clients who are also healthy and have been taking precautions as well, there are still too many unknowns yet for us to confidently, safely do massage. And out of our commitment to promoting health and wellness, it does not make sense to do so.
What we do know, is, just like the common cold, the novel corona virus, COVID-19, can spread by asymptomatic transmission. Unlike the common cold, COVID-19 can be fatal. Weighing the risks vs benefits, a massage is simply not worth dying for.
We also know it makes no difference to COVID-19 if you feel healthy. We now know that even for people with no preexisting conditions, COVID-19 can be fatal.
Furthermore, if we decide to go back to work before it is deemed safe by the State, the County of Alameda and the City of Oakland, it would be considered a risk to public health and, therefore, treated as a misdemeanor, subject to a fine, jail time or both. In addition, our professional certification and our professional insurance are at risk of being revoked.
Our primary concern is to your health and wellness and we are aligned with these governing bodies, as well as our certifying and insuring agencies. In order for us to be here when this is ‘over’, our health and wellness is our concern, as well.
We know we will all get through this. And we will get through this faster if we all take a deep breath, slow down, and do the right thing right now: wear a mask in public, frequently wash your hands with soap (especially before and after touching your face), keep physical distance of 6′ from others, and encourage others to doing the same.
We miss giving massages and seeing our clients and hope that we can resume doing so very soon.
~ Hana Levin, cmt, Founder, Melt Massage LLC
PS. To stay up to date on changes, see Alameda’s Reopening Plan.