Not Till Shopping Unmasked Is Safe

July 14, 2020  |  Comments are off

Photo by Febin Paul

Dear Clients,

We know you need a massage. We do too. We need the comfort of giving and receiving bodywork. We need the pleasure, soothing, and safe connection massage offers receivers and givers. We need it so very much.

However, Massage Vermont remains closed. We will reopen when up-close work in an enclosed space becomes safe again.

There simply is no way to assure client and practitioner safety—even with masks, sanitizing procedures, and client screening.

We track updates and recommendations from the most reliable empirical sources we can find. For now, massage remains a very high-risk activity.

  • The virus is highly infectious and airborne
  • The transmission risk increases the longer people spend together in an enclosed space
  • Detailed intake with temperature-checks and questionnaires about symptoms, travel, and exposures will not reveal the many, many people who don’t realize they’re infected
  • Recirculated air is dangerous, potentially concentrating virus particles; we lack the resources to retrofit our office with the medical-level filtration and ventilation for pandemic-level air quality and which, in any case, still would not guarantee your safety or ours

As my dear friend and massage colleague Rhonda Henry writes,

It’s become clear that none of the liability insurers for massage will cover any sort of claim arising from communicable diseases, including COVID; that’s always been the case, but it’s never been a significant concern until now. I could do every single thing that the state requires of me and do it perfectly, document the heck out of it, and still have to deal with legal costs on my own if someone decided that they’d gotten the virus as a result of a massage (or if, Dog forbid, they actually *did* get the virus while having a massage with me).

It is not safe to practice massage. It is not safe to receive massage. Massage is not an essential medical service. It is comfort care. We simply will not risk you, ourselves, and those in our pods to provide it. We will not become the source of a potentially life-devastating and fatal illness.

We care about you. We care about ourselves. That’s why we remain closed, for now and as long as the pandemic remains a public health threat.

When we can go grocery shopping without having to remember our masks or wash our hands for twenty seconds after touching anything, massage will be safe again.

Until then, please take good care. Chris and I look forward to seeing you.