Dr. Leon Alexander, founder of Eurisko.

Dr. Leon Alexander, founder of Eurisko. 

I have spoken to numerous salon owners over the last few days to get their perspective on why they closed their salon or why they are still open. It has been one of the most difficult decisions they have made, as it affects their staff, their customers, their business and their community. Of course, in certain states, closure is mandated, so the decision is simple, but for those still considering volumtary closure, let's talk it through.

A business suspension may be a better choice, and more palatable, than a closure, but owners should consider all implications including financial before making a decision. In an unprecedented move, salons across the country are opting to indefinitely shut their doors to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus in the US. 

Based on the current recommended government guidelines of social distancing of six feet of distance between two people, along with avoiding social gatherings involving groups of more than 10 for the next 15 days. It is difficult to run a tactile business like a beauty salon and comply with the guidelines.

About 70% of salon owners I spoke to have closed their salon and I have collated their responses and the reasons they came to their decisions in the pros and cons of closing from a their prospective. Amongst the reasons that shared with me for closing were.

  • "I have a moral responsibility to protect my staff."
  • "I have a duty to protect my customers."
  • "I have a civil duty to my community."

Salons owners that were still open said the following:

  • "I am a small salon, and if I close, I will go bankrupt."
  • "I will close when it is mandated to close."
  • "We are increasing our hygiene procudures, and will review the situation daily."

The United States has been through a few major events in the last 20 years, 9/11 and Katrina come to mind. Those events emotionally effected the whole country, but it didn't stop business nationally. This is a game changer and although experts don't know when this will end, they have been talking with one voice with regard that social distancing will slow down the virus.

I have been heartened by some positive messages that owners have posted to their clients.

“Closed for spiritual maintenance. Using this time to disconnect. Detoxing from day to day responsibilities and planting my head in the clouds of possibilities."-- Stefanie Fox Jackson.

“To our guests: Being well has remained a top priority as we've continued to navigate the constantly changing environment with COVID-19. At the end of the day, ensuring the safety of our team members and our guests is what’s most important. We’re encouraging you all to take this time to care for yourselves, your families, and all those that you love.” --Debra Penzone

“ We feel it’s our social responsibility to flatten the curve. To keep our team, guests and community as safe as possible.” --Keri Davis Duffy. Gila Rut Salons

These salon owners and many more have taken a difficult leadership decision to close their salons voluntary, prior to any future mandate. An important questions is, what do we do with the time we now have?

I am also comforted by beautiful words written by Kitty O’ Meara: “And the people stayed home. And read books, and listened, and rested, and exercised, and made art, and played games, and learned new ways of being, and were still. And listened more deeply. Some meditated, some prayed, some danced. Some met their shadows. And the people began to think differently. And the people healed. And, in the absence of people living in ignorant, dangerous, mindless, and heartless ways, the earth began to heal. And when the danger passed, and the people joined together again, they grieved their losses, and made new choices, and dreamed new images, and created new ways to live and heal the earth fully, as they had been healed.” 

Last month, the word “coronavirus” wasn’t even in our lexicon. We’ve also added a new term to our vocabulary that’s currently defining everyday life, “Social distancing.”

The world is shifting in an unprecedented way, but we are shifting together. The keyword here is  “unified,” with respect to the global effort underway to contain the virus. Governments, scientists and health organizations are collaborating like never before, coordinating efforts to bring some stability back to the world. Coronavirus is an equal opportunity pathogen. It doesn’t discriminate when it comes to race or socioeconomic status. Each of us is vulnerable to the potential risk for transmission.

How you feel is valid. Most of us fear the unknown because we don’t know what we don’t know, and that’s scary for a lot of us. Being afraid heightens our anxiety; confusion compounds it. So how can we best manage our fear and anxiety during troubled times? First, take heart knowing that we are all in this together. Being kind to ourselves and one another is essential to our well being. And we will then find peace.

This is a time for prudence, not panic. Science, not stigma. Facts, not fear. We will come through this and the focus of our time should be to keep positive and plan for the future.

No matter how dark it is out there, or deep in the valley you are. Look to the mountain top.

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