We have been watching news coverage, CDC and WHO recommendations, and state and local recommendations concerning the COVID-19 outbreak very closely. So the short and sweet of it: I'm currently, temporarily, limiting my appointment availability to doula clients to fulfill contracted/virtual services ONLY, for at least the next 2 weeks until Monday 30 March 2020 *UPDATE: State Order requires closure until 30 April 2020, scroll down for details*.
Online booking is currently suspended and I'll re-evaluate weekly. This includes taking appointment requests only instead of automatic booking confirmations and, if necessary, performing only virtual services until further notice.
Even with all the hand-washing and proper equipment cleaning/sanitizing, there is no way I can guarantee complete safety for either of us given the need to be so physically close during massage.
Why is social distancing important?
Check out this awesome simulator by the Washington Post.
While no one that I currently know of within my family and client list has been exposed, I am technically considered part of the high risk group for complications. I have asthma. And we're learning that this virus can be spread by asymptomatic carriers.
Also, my entire client base is people who are/trying to get pregnant and people with newborns. There haven't been any reported complication for pregnant. But that's only a YET.
So what will this look like?
- Current doula clients with prenatal services remaining will be encouraged to participate in one-on-one video appointments, or schedule their prenatal visits in conjunction with their package inclusive prenatal massages to limit the frequency of face-to-face contact.
- Current doula clients with postpartum services remaining will also be encouraged to participate in one-on-one video appointments, or schedule their postpartum visit in conjunction with their package inclusive postpartum services to limit the frequency of face-to-face contact.
- Of my current contracted doula services, the clients with only postpartum massages remaining are encouraged to postpone until further notice.
- Phone consultations with new potential doula clients will still be available and NEW contracted doula services will still continue.
Here are some great resource on the importance of having a doula by Evidence Based Birth, along with how to respond to potential "visitor" policy changes by Birth Monopoly, and the Association of Women's Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses' position on doula services during the pandemic.
And I promise to open to ability to book at your heart's content as soon as I can.
And as always, if you are not feeling well, please call and cancel your massage appointment. This doesn't just mean symptoms of COVID-19, but also includes the cold/flu, have a fever or cough, are nauseated and/or vomiting, have diarrhea, are experiencing abdominal discomfort or pain, have a rash or other symptoms that may be contagious. I don’t want to make you feel worse giving you a massage when you should be resting or getting appropriate medical treatment. If you’re feeling under the weather, please reschedule your massage appointment so you don’t share your germs! I see you once you’re well again!
This order includes all hair, nail, tattoo, and massage establishments as these services cannot be performed while simultaneously following the minimum 6-foot social distancing recommendation. The safety of my community was always at the forefront and I'm glad to have already taken the initiative to put my massage practice on hold and have the ability to offer virtual services for my doula clients.