I contact CDC and Washington State Department of Health daily to help me with guidelines as far as how to operate a business responsibly during the situation. This email is an update based on last week's events.
I am still cautiously optimistic. Seattle corporations have taken some large steps, asking people to work from home. Everybody is cleaning like crazy. I swear the city and the airport has never been cleaner. We are not seeing an exponential jump in sick patients.
I may be the last person in town who sees these measures and statistic as positive. Guys, I am trying, there is too much stress and panic in the world. Stress lowers your immune system and allows for flu.
Let's stay CALM and take ACTIVE Prevention
Below you will find Spira's guideline. The additional steps we are taking, and the additional steps we ask YOU to take.
If you are interested in why I clean with bleach and alcohol, scroll down to the bottom of this blog.
Spira will promise:
We will wet mop with bleach after every class - yes it will smell a bit bleachy.
We will limit class sizes to 20 per class to allow for plenty of breathing space. This is in response to the CDC recommendation of 3 feet distance between people. In Italy, they added, "please restrain from kissing both cheeks when meeting a friend." - OK, I needed humor. I thought that was cute. We all need a bit of a smile to make it through. :- ) Please understand if you come late, and the class is full, we have to turn you away; this has not been an issue. In Issaquah, all classes are in single digits. Half the classes in West Seattle are in the single digits with the exception of a few afternoons, noon and weekend classes.
We stepped it up. I ordered a virucidal hospital-grade cleaner. It is even better than bleach. It is made for surgical tools. Kills anything from ebola to Influenza to herpes to mold and fungus. We will use this spray on frequently touched surfaces. This is not a guarantee that we don't have some pesky virus stuck somewhere - but we are doing everything we can.
We will alcohol wipe all door knobs every day
We will disinfect bathrooms daily
Teachers will wash hands before and after class
Teachers will not come to teach if they don't feel well
I will follow CDC recommendation and daily check-in with business guidelines
check schedule before you show up
We may have to cancel classes
not permanently, just on occasion
Depending on how long this viral outbreak last, I may need to cut back on classes because:
If class sizes drop, and income declines. To keep business floating, we may shift to a lighter schedule to save money. (Don't worry, all but two teachers have full-time jobs outside of yoga. We will make sure not to cut classes away from full-time teachers.)
If we don't have enough teachers because, yes, we have a strict self-quarantine policy for all teachers for 14 days, even if they have light symptoms.
Teachers may also choose to self-quarantine because some of us have big "other" jobs. So depending on where our "other life" sent us, we may choose to self-quarantine.
Thank you for your understanding!
What we ask of YOU
Know that sh...t happens, even with all the precautions we take; illness may happen. You need to take full responsibility for YOUR decision to come to class.
Please wash hands often
Do NOT come to class if you are not feeling well
Don't come if you have contact with an ill, or immunocompromised relative.
Know that in yoga class, we are together in a room. Use your judgment when you come to class.
Bring your mat. We will still supply rentals only if absolutely necessary; it is safer to have your mat. When renting a mat. Leave mat on the floor, wipe dry with your towel and spray with virucide, then hang it to dry up-front.
Bring your own block or sturdy water bottle. We want to reduce the use of common blocks. When using our blocks, after use, leave on the floor in the corner of the room so the teacher can spray with virucide. Please wash your hands after class.
Bring your prop for yin classes- No prop? NO class for you! (yes, that was a Seinfeld reference) no more towels and eye pillows from Spira - sorry guys, bring your own.
Know the symptoms
I am copy pasting off of CDCs website
Patients with COVID-19 have had mild to severe respiratory illness, symptoms are:
Shortness of Breath
It takes 2 to 14 days after a person gets the virus in their body to become ill.
Learn more about the virus, click here to go to CDC website
Take care of yourself
Flu likes to take hold on immunocompromised individuals. Stay strong and healthy:
Get good amount of sleep
Drink plenty of liquids (with electrolytes, NOT sugar)
take extra vitamin C
Eat well balanced diet
The virus is not the only thing to fear
The problem with panic...
Yogis, you must recognize; the decreased revenue to the service industry is substantial.
If you have a favorite restaurant or service providing business – support them. Get take-out, or donate, buy for future use. A lot of businesses will go into bankruptcy due to viral episode. Just sending an email or calling a restaurant that you frequent, and letting them know you care means a lot! You may not be able to save them financially, but you can help spiritually.
Yoga is about balancing effort with ease, so is this epidemic situation.
Being diligent in controlling the spread of disease is one thing, but we have an equal civic responsibility to control panic.
Fear and Panic will lead to closures of many small, and maybe some large businesses as well.
Closures lead to unemployment, unemployment leads to loss of health insurance, and that leads to illness and death not from Coronavirus but thousands of other diseases such as cancers and diabetes.
Yes, Coronavirus is scary – but equally frightening is the damage and subsequent illness that we are creating with paranoia and fear.
Do your civic duty – clean, wash hands, stay home when you are sick and make sure to stay calm and keep things in perspective!
Why we clean with bleach, Virucide and alcohol
Every situation has risks and benefits. Using a environmentally friendly cleaner at home when everybody is healthy is a good choice. It is better for the environment and there are no public safety risks.
But public spaces, gyms, yoga studios, bathroom, grocery stores, restaurants are different. In public spaces the importance of public health and safety outweighs the environmental concern.
Knock on wood, for the 10 years Spira Yoga has been open, we did not have a single case of foot fungus. I say it is because we wet-mop with bleach after every single class!
I have seen that some yoga studios claim to use "tea tree oil, lavender and rosemary with naturally antibacterial properties as cleaners." They even stated this fact during the viral epidemic. Seriously? Seriously? OK first of all, having "naturally antibiotic properties is not the same as disinfection. Second of all... It is a freaking VIRUS NOT BACTERIA! Cleaning with lavender will make one good smelling virus.
OK I rest my case, I am just so pissed at this misinformation about tea-tree oil and the rest of the good smelly stuff. BTW tea tree oil has to be at a full concentration to be at all anti-pathogenic; once diluted it just smells good.
Oh for heaven's sake, when somebody is ill at home or when cleaning a public space; use bleach and alcohol!
Sending you peace and love See you soon, Dora
- owner of Spira Power Yoga, an ex-scientist, pro-vaccine, pro-bleach in public spaces kinda yogi!