To get ready for this, I’d suggest 2 or 3 episodes of Monk (anywhere in the first season definitely). What makes Tony Shalhoub’s performance so poignant is the tension between his anxieties and his desire to continue his life despite them. My tears of laughter are in recognition of his, our humanity at the center of that dance.
Day to day: Keeping it clean
There’s great information on the professional sites: WSMTA, ABMP, IASI. Next there’s seeing what’s available — sometimes the thing that seems easiest, isn’t to be had. Clorox products–anything with bleach, for example, is tough to find. There’s a reason for that: my sister-in-law works for Clorox, helping with distribution management. The general public isn’t seeing Clorox products on the shelves of super markets because the company decided to prioritize shipments to hospitals, nursing homes and care facilities. I’m okay with that.
Remember: this virus is very very nasty on the inside, but relatively easy to kill on the outside. Lots of strategies work; use as many as is practical.
Our plan consists of several levels of disinfection:
• Good ol’ soap and water: It’s simple and effective. Soap and water, doesn’t even need to be hot water, will kill it. 20 seconds of hand washing–all the nooks and crannies–is enough. There are dozens of ‘how-to’ videos around; watch a bunch.
• Sani-gel: mostly for clients to use before/after and for us to use during the session. We’re just about out of our pre-COVID stock (thank you classroom supplies). We’re making our own with 80% alcohol and aloe vera gel. Keep the dispenser bottles!
• Alcohol (between 70-90%): We’re wiping down commonly touched surfaces between clients with 80% alcohol right from the bottle. Check your local supermarket in the booze section: many distilleries have started bottling 80% alcohol and labeling it “Hand Sanitizer.” This isn’t a scam; this is how they are contributing to our safety at this time. It’s cheap and easy to use. It’s also not too harsh and doesn’t leave a big chemical trail like bleach can.
• Spray disinfectant: Then at the end of the day, we’re spraying down with a disinfectant to reach the uncommon places. Walls, under the table, base of the chairs, the hinges on the face cradle, etc. We’ve found a spray I’m excited about: Anti3. The name relates to its potency: anti-viral, anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, utilizing several of the EPA approved active agents. It’s made for sporting equipment, which means it’s gentle on vinyl, leather and wood. It’s not expensive and is readily available — probably because you need to leave it to air dry to be effective. This air-drying aspect means Anti3 is not so good for between sessions, but it’s great as an all-over, once a day thorough treatment. And it doesn’t smell bad.
So far so good. I do like to repeat clean anything I’m asking client’s to touch, like the devices I’m using to check their signs of health (see previous post on client screening). Or my phone for credit card swiping. (I know many LMTs are asking that clients only pay on line, but some forget. We’re using the in-person method as back up.) Clients are absolutely on board and grateful for all the attention to safety.
If you have kids at home, you could follow this up with Mary Poppins, “A Spoonful of Sugar.”
Or if you can have some adults-only streaming, pick your favorite steamy kissing-when-wet scene: the first Spider Man upside-down kiss, the Ross-and-Rachel-finally-kiss scene, the back-together scene from The Notebook, the almost-kiss in either version of Pride and Prejudice, the shower scene in Something New, and on, and on. Enjoy!