Well so much has happened here in New Zealand in the past few days regarding COVID-19. Based on the latest information released by the government at Saturday lunchtime, I have made the incredibly difficult decision to suspend my practice for the meantime. The strong and clear messages made by the government on Saturday around 2m physical distancing and avoiding touch where possible, risks for elderly, immune-compromised and those with respiratory conditions, the emerging evidence about transmission, incubation, and asymptomatic carriers combined with the fact that the nature of my work requires me to work well within that 2m space for longer than 15 minutes at a time, mean that despite all the standard hygiene protocols I use PLUS the extra steps I have taken over the past few weeks as well as my clear policy about not treating sick clients, I just cannot guarantee that you or I will be safe.
"...people can spread the virus for a few days before they have any symptoms, each person who contracts the virus can unwittingly pass it on to several of their whānau, friends and colleagues. Then each one of them can unwittingly pass it on to several of their whānau, friends and colleagues." ...."You should be aiming to stay two metres apart at all times, but absolutely spending less than 15 minutes in that “close contact” zone." (Dr Siouxie Wiles, The Spinoff, March 22, 2020)
This decision isn’t something I have done lightly, I have been led by a number of well-respected, evidence-based massage therapists and educators from around the world. It is clear to me that the health and wellbeing of you, my clients is paramount. I pride myself on my professionalism and duty of care, we are taught to do no harm and I believe that it is just not safe to continue with massage therapy at this stage. I know this will be very disappointing news to many of you, as it’s been for me. This is a scary financial situation for me to be in but I want to be part of the solution in helping to slow the spread of COVID-19 not continuing to work and risk being part of the problem. So, all existing booked appointments are now cancelled. I will leave them “sitting” in the appointment book until I have figured out some administration bits and pieces I need to take care of, so if you still get a reminder, please ignore this. Obviously there is no charge for the appointments this week that I am cancelling at short notice. My appointment book is blocked out so no future appointments can be made. I will continue to keep in touch with you over the next few months. I am looking at ways I can provide you with some self-massage, relaxation, stretching and movement ideas and am thinking about recording some short videos for this, so you can continue to look after yourself and give yourself some nurturing touch at this time.
In the case of unused vouchers, for anyone who has a current one purchased prior to today, I am extending the expiry date until the end of 2020. For those who wish to purchase vouchers, I am selling these and will give a 12 month instead of the usual 6 month expiry period. Keep well over these coming months and if you need to reach out, please do. Please also remember the essentials about keeping yourself and others safe - wash your hands well with soap for 20 seconds and dry them, stay home if you are sick, and be kind to each other, this can be a very stressful time for many. We are all in this together. Arohanui Odette