The virus is upon us. As touch therapists we are all in a position to help keep our patients, colleagues and families safe -- or not. We have the potential to be the transmitter of the virus by touch. I hope we can all observe the "stay in place" means of mitigating the spread of this pandemic. My daughter Sarah and I have called all of our active patients and cancelled clinic hours and classes until May when we will reassess. We connect with them and review home exercises and antisepsis strategies folks can use at home to stay safe. Patients are grateful for the call and I believe it will give people information they might otherwise not get and we can encourage them to take this seriously.
I believe authorities have not emphasized hair and hands enough. In order to decrease the spread of infection, I suggest more urgent care each person should direct to their own hair and hands. When at the grocery store, you touch the cart, pick your fruit, touch cans, bottles, packages of meat, and all types of boxes. Remember: human hands have stocked those items. At the check out when the items are checked out and bagged, they are manually bagged. Cash may be handled and exchanged. It is important for everyone to glove and mask before going into each store. Use self-checkout if available, bag your own, use a card to pay. Use the cart by pulling it from the front and not the handle. Place any change and/or your card in a baggy/paper envelope in your pocket, that you wipe down once out of the store and before you reach the car. Return your cart; then remove your gloves and go to your car.
IMPORTANTLY: Before going into any confined space, like any store, put your long hair up and cover it. People with long hair that is allowed to wave freely through a store, can easily pick up airborne particles, like an open sail gathers the wind on a sailboat. You then remove your gloves and mask, get in your car and then as you start to drive, you put your clean hands through your hair, wipe your brow and say, "Gee, glad that's over." Oh my!!!
Treat everything you touch in public as wet paint. Sanitize, glove, and wash thoroughly after every outing. As you would not get in your car with wet paint on your hands without a thorough wipe with paint remover, use the same intention with sanitizers. To make your own sanitizer see Circle 59 on Antisepsis. Here are additional thoughts on hair and hands:
- Pull back and put up all long hair any time you go out.
- Glove hands in any store. Remove gloves inside out. Dispose before entering your own car.
- Put money, or credit/debit card in an envelope in your pocket; sanitize after each use; dispose of envelope each time.
- Hand sanitize once in car including handles, wheel, shifter and seatbelt.
- Once home, put bags outside on ground, wipe all food items, boxes, cans, plastic containers, even wipe fruit and vegetables. Wash hands after. Once in kitchen wash produce and put in your own plastic sandwich bags. Clean sink and counter tops often and after each grocery run.
- Wipe things hands touch most often, like your phone.
- Try not to touch your face or hair unless you are in the shower.
- Stay safe, stay smart, stay kind and stay home.
I know these are Draconian measures, but this is how we will reduce the spread of this virus for the next three weeks (at least) and be able to be of service to those who will be suffering from stress-related illnesses and truly need our human touch and somato-emotional processing very soon and well into the future. We will be an important source of well being and support for our communities as we come to a new dawn at the end of this. Stay focused, stay grounded. Practice breath venting, grounding and mindfulness. See our YouTube video posts for details. A post on suffering and loss will be coming soon.
There will be Happy Days again. Gratitude is in each sunset. Hope is in each sunrise. Set your eyes to focusing on the beauty of the natural light within you and in the world.