By Gerry Pyves, NO HANDS Founder & Creator
All indicators are that the spread of coronavirus, also known as Covid-19, is showing no signs of slowing.
Although the chance of fatality from the illness is quite small, any gathering which brings people into close contact (like having or giving a Massage) increases the risk of spreading the infection – and so increasing the risk of passing it on to those who are most at risk, those already ill or vulnerable. Not only does this put them at risk, but it also increases the strain on our already stretched health service. In addition, it is possible to be carrying the virus, and infecting other people, for up to 14 days before you show any symptoms.
It is for this reason that I have decided to postpone all company courses scheduled between now and June.
In addition, I am postponing all my face-to-face clinical work between now and the end of the month and will be self-isolating for at least 2 weeks. I will be reviewing my April appointments as greater clarity emerges. As I have just spent the last two weeks in close proximity with over 30 glorious NO HANDS therapists who travelled from all across the UK, I could easily be a carrier already and pass it on to my clients. This is not something I am prepared to have on my conscience.
I am deeply disappointed by the UK Government’s response to the situation – like me you may be asking yourself why their advice has only been to self isolate once symptoms appear when they have had the full picture from top scientific advisors since day one of this virus, way back in January. You could be forgiven for thinking this sounds like closing the stable doors after the horse has bolted. Regardless of this odd behaviour by our Government, people everywhere are taking action themselves and reducing travel and contact with others, and they are doing this NOW.
MY ADVICE TO YOU IS THIS:
Postpone your sessions with all your clients and simply declare that “Easter has come a few weeks early and is being extended!” If you are on monthly standing orders, simply promise to “catch up on the back log” and invite those clients who are not on standing orders to start making payments, so you will still be there to massage them when all this is over.
I am acutely aware that, as self-employed therapists, the anxieties raised by this situation will be increased by anxieties about being able to pay our mortgages, feed our families and still have space to look after ourselves. You are not alone in this – many of us will be concerned about our income. Let us stay together and use this situation to get even more connected with each other.
Online resources from Gerry Pyves & the NO HANDS Massage Company
NO HANDS Facebook group – open to all, whether you’ve done NO HANDS training or not
NO HANDS Massage Association Facebook group – exclusive group for Association members
Anti-viral work for freelancers and small businesses group – rapidly expanding and very supportive Facebook group specifically set up in response to the COVID-19 situation
Covid-19 Mutual Aid – central hub for groups that have been set up to offer support for those most needing it during this outbreak
NO HANDS page on Facebook