When We Can Keep You Safe

May 22, 2020  |  Comments are off

Photo by Jenna Hamra

Dear Clients,

According to the most rigorous minds in our profession reviewing the latest evidence available, the only truly reliable protection is to allow only uninfected people in small, closed spaces together—regardless of personal protective equipment (PPE) and sanitization practices.

We’ve considered the consequences of our office being the source of a COVID-19 infection among our clients, ourselves, and members of our families—we’re not going there. The effects of this virus for even young, healthy people can be life-changing, devastating, permanent.

Massage Vermont will remain closed until there are reliable, evidence-based safe-practice protocols. So far, there aren’t. Using medical-grade PPE works only when it’s used properly, which requires training and practice, and still there is no way to offset the concentrated exposure of people breathing together in a small space for an hour or more at a time.

The percentage of people who don’t know they’re infected is too high for client screening or in-depth intake to be of much use. Swab tests are not completely reliable; people who tested negative and were sent home have died of COVID-19.

Maybe what will work is universal antigen testing and global contact tracing. Maybe it’s a vaccine. We’re not sure, but we are watching carefully.

We’re urging Vermont officials to base decisions for reopening massage therapy practices on solid data, not extrapolation and hypotheses, for the health and safety of clients, practitioners, and everyone we contact. State officials must advise us on how to operate amid our professional liability insurance’s exclusion of contagious illness claims, which leaves massage practitioners at risk of financial ruin.

Without these assurances, it’s wrong to make comfort-care professionals decide whether to risk their clients’ lives and their own.

On a personal level, Chris is high-risk, so neither of us can risk exposure. We haven’t entered a public indoor space since mid-March, nor allowed anyone into our home. Sheryl can’t return to work and possibly bring the virus into our home. With everyone letting down their guard further as the state reopens, it’s hard to know when we might.

We wish you safety, health, and ease. We so look forward to working with you again.

~Sheryl and Chris