Based on how many people I see wandering around my community ‘sans-mask’, I wonder how many of you have heard that question from clients whom you’ve told to wear a face-covering when coming in for a session. Even those people who agree to your policy over the phone often show up ‘mask-less’, asking, “Do I really have to?”
That puts bodyworkers in a really awkward position.
We want to ‘meet our clients where they are’ at the same time that we need to assume the responsibility our profession and license demand of us to establish and enforce safety guidelines within our businesses. Seeing multiple clients in a week necessitates compliance to common safety procedures so that everyone – including you – remains healthy.
So, what to do?
I think starting with acknowledging that having to wear a mask while giving or receiving reflexology sucks. For both parties. That’s the truth and yet wearing a mask is one of the best ways to keep both people safe. End of story.
Here are a couple of guidelines that you may want to consider, keeping in mind that setting and imposing policies at your place of business may not be within your purview.
* Clearly state your policy regarding mask-wearing in multiple ways: on your website; displayed on the outside of your office entrance and inside on an office wall; on health history intake forms; verbally when making appointments and or boldly stated on your scheduling app. Make it clear that there are no exceptions. Masks must be worn the entire time the individual is in the clinic.
* Explaining to reticent people that you are required to follow the rules set out by your regulatory agency will deflect the responsibility away from you and onto your governing Board. The client may find it easier to comply with that.
* Someone may inform you that they have an exemption card from the Americans with Disabilities Act. Acknowledge that the card may exempt that person from litigation, but it will not protect either of you from infection. And that preventing the spread of COVID is your intention.
* Have enough 3-ply cloth masks for yourself on hand so that you can change out for each client. Have a supply of disposable surgical masks in the office should someone forget to bring theirs.
* Thank your clients for being proactive about protecting themselves and you. We’re in this together.
Bottom line, don’t make exemptions because you are afraid of losing business or of offending people. Wearing a mask in public these days is a health issue. It is not a political issue or an issue of personal freedom.