Without a doubt, 2020 was a rollercoaster of emotions, ranging from panic to pandemic fatigue. Across all industries, including professional beauty, fear has been the default reaction of many people. This fear has resulted in “analysis paralysis,” or the fear of making decisions that comes with not knowing what lies ahead. However, we can also choose to respond with curiosity and take the opportunity to learn how to build safer businesses as we emerge from this crisis. Investing in stronger infection prevention will equip us with the tools to better prevent and manage future outbreaks, giving us resilience in the face of another crisis.
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As professionals, understanding the need for infection prevention was not new, thanks to the guidelines that our state or governing bodies have had in place for many years. However, the idea that a global pandemic could bring our communities and businesses to a standstill is not something we could have predicted. Now, we look at infection prevention with a new pair of eyes, understanding that anyone walking in our doors could be carrying COVID-19 or a different infectious pathogen.
Coughs and sneezes have always spread diseases. Even before the pandemic, most would cringe if they encountered someone who coughed or sneezed without covering their mouth. The particles that come out of our mouth or nose are visible. We can see them being expelled. If you’re unlucky, you can even feel them. Hands, unless visibly dirty, do not generally provide the same “ew-factor.” We frequently shake hands of people we newly meet, and we pick up produce and other items in stores that others have touched without giving much thought.