As our world faces this Pandemic
Many in the massage field have been ordered by our states to stay home, and in the states that have not issues that order the various massage organizations have encouraged that we do so.
Our profession has always been in close contact with others. In the beginning when we were told not to shake hands, rather to elbow bump or toe tap, I found that to be a pointless gesture as I was about to massage the very hand I was being asked not to shake.
I have in the past written about clients who come for massages even when they are sick and how we wish they would not because it puts us and our other clients at risk, this is true of any virus.
There is one thing that I really want to impress upon everyone while this pandemic is happening, while we are finally waking up to the need to protect others. This is not the only virus that carries with it the potential to kill other people.
Continue These Precautions
Yearly we have many viruses to protect ourselves and others from. There is a virus called RSV that some of you may or may not have heard of. It looks like the common cold to most people and usually goes unnoticed.
One week of cold like symptoms and you are back to normal and never give it another thought, but to an infant or a person with an immune compromise it can turn into pneumonia, it kills babies and the elderly every year.
You may not have heard of it because there is no vaccine for it and because its death tolls here in the United States are included in the yearly flu death statistics which this year alone were about 20,000.
The precautions that you are taking now to prevent the spread of Covid-19 such as good hand washing, covering your face when you cough and staying home when you are sick are the same precautions you should be taking anytime that you have a cold or flu.
There does not need to be a world wide pandemic for us to be thinking about protecting our elderly and children of society, we should be thinking about them anytime we are sick with any virus.
If You Are Sick Stay Home
That should go without saying, but it seems some people need to understand that also includes being around others who are sick.
At my place of work we had a client who came in for a massage, she said to her therapist “I have been home from work taking care of my sick child.” Oh great, thought the therapist, but there was no backing out of the massage because she was already in the middle of it when this conversation took place. Two days later that therapist was home sick and vomiting.
If you have been exposed to someone who is sick then you need to consider the possibility that you may also be infected. Covid-19 for example has a 14 day incubation period, this means if you were exposed to someone who has it you could be contagious for up to two weeks before you start having symptoms.
Some viruses have much shorter incubation periods, I had the Norvo Virus back when I was a medication aide, it has a 72 hour incubation period, it hit me at about 72 hours from exposure.
Let this virus be a wake up call
The steps we are taking with this virus such as hand washing, self isolating when sick, avoiding the elderly if exposed to illness, coughing into your elbow or a tissue, these common sense things are how we should be treating every virus, even the common ones such as colds and flu.
There are circumstances that the people around you have that you are not aware of. The person in the grocery line behind you may have an immune compromise or may be taking care of an elderly parent. Think of them not only during this crisis but when there is no pandemic and you simply have a common cold or flu and feel well enough to go shopping or get that massage.
Take what you are learning now and apply it in everyday life, not just in times of a pandemic or crisis. Consider this a global wake up call, we are not doing this just for ourselves but for those around us.
Yours in Health and Wellness,
Kristeen Anne Smart (formerly Kristeen Anne Kish)
CAMTC Certified Massage Therapist