COVID-19 UPDATE

Friday, June 5th, 2020

 

I’m sitting here on my couch with my pup after wrapping up the first week back in the office! I apologize for abandoning this page for a bit, but it got to the point of scheduling everyone and individual texts were easiest. But, I wanted to drop one more update to let you all know that I am indeed open. AND, after much outrage from our industry towards our state for the ridiculous restrictions, especially on massages, we were extremely surprised to stumble across a newly updated official guideline document just yesterday. The 30 minute massage restriction was removed, and estheticians can now offer facials (with esthetician wearing mask and face shield)!

 

To follow the state guidelines, I have set up a sanitation station outside my door with hand sanitizer and extra masks if you happen to forget yours. Once you come in, I will check your temperature with a no-contact thermometer. There is sanitizer available for you inside, and everything is wiped down in between clients with a hospital grade germicidal disinfectant. Thieves essential oil (an immune boosting blend) is also diffused into the air all day, every day that clients are in the office. Towels are sterilized with UV light for at least 10 minutes at the beginning of every day, and implements are soaked in disinfectant solution and/or sterilized by UV light after every use. And, starting next week, the room will be sterilized with a UV/Ozone room sterilizer in between clients and at the end of every day. Your health and safety are my priority, so rest assured I have done everything within my power to provide you with a properly cleansed environment.

 

Thank you all so much for your ongoing support, patience, and understanding through this crazy roller-coaster! If I don’t yet have you scheduled, I hope to see you on my calendar very soon!

 

Stay well,

Lisa & Izzy

 


 

Monday, May 25th, 2020

 

Good Morning, Clients! I woke up this morning still struggling in my mind as to how to proceed with yesterday’s guidelines given by the state. (Please read the post below, from yesterday, if you haven’t yet.) I am between a rock and a hard place, because with these Phase 3 rules, I do not know that I’ll be able to get enough clients a week to match/exceed what I’m getting on Unemployment with the additional Federal payment I’m receiving. However, if I exceed just my Illinois State Weekly Benefit Allowance of $197/week in income (so huge, right?), I would be making too much (yes, you read it right, “$198/week is too much”) and would therefore lose my unemployment.

 

So, I need input from you all. As of right now, it sounds like the only services I will be able to perform following the state’s guidelines are:

– 30 minute massages and/or back treatments

– 30 minute Reiki services

– All waxing services EXCEPT on the face

 

If you all could please send me a text (309-838-7752) and let me know the following:

1) Are you interested in/able to come in for any of the services mentioned above?

2) If interested in 30 minute treatments, how many times a month would you be able to commit to scheduling until guidelines permit longer time allotments. (30 minute massages and Reiki sessions are $40; 30 minute back treatment is $50.)

3) Would you consider seeking treatments elsewhere if I strictly follow these guidelines, but another business chooses not to and decides to offer a full menu of services? (Absolutely no judgement, I promise. I’m simply seeking honesty and understand how desperate some of us are, myself included, for certain services.)

4) Do you prefer to wait to schedule your service(s) until a full service menu is able to be offered?

5) Do you still feel unsafe scheduling any appointments due to high risk criteria?

 

Please, please, please shoot me a text at your earliest convenience so I can evaluate the potential schedule. Those of you already scheduled, please note that appointments may need to be adjusted due to these circumstances. I thank you all so much for your support and understanding!!!

 

 


Sunday, May 24th, 2020

 

Well, we got our state “Guidelines” today for reopening in Phase 3. I should be excited, but to be completely open and honest with you all, I’m incredibly frustrated and disheartened. I’ll lay these out as basic as I can:

 

1) Not surprisingly, both myself and ALL CLIENTS must wear a mask that covers both the mouth AND nose during the entire visit.

2) Obviously since the client must also wear a mask, facial treatments are not allowed at all during Phase 3. Unfortunately, they’re also prohibiting ANY face work, including eyebrow waxing and lash services, even though those areas are not covered.

3) There is now a 30 minute cap on massages and body scrubs. Apparently they think a 60 minute massage is too much potential exposure to one another, yet body waxing, physical therapy work, and hair appointments, etc. that take longer than 30 minutes are fine. Your guess is as good as mine… Their rules. Not mine!

4) Sanitation, of course, will be key. In addition to wearing face coverings, I will be required to wear gloves for ALL services, including massage. There will also be a sanitation station set up as you arrive at my door. I will have a very limited amount of face masks available, so please bring your own face cover whenever possible. I will be asking you to wait in your car until I text you, since I have limited ability to keep the common areas sanitized.

 

These lovely guidelines put me in a very difficult position, Friends… I won’t be able to perform even half of the services I currently have scheduled as many of them are 60 or 90 minute massages or facials. However, if I refuse to work when we are technically allowed to, I could lose my Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, and then I’m once again back to no income. Once again, if I choose to act outside of these guidelines, both my state licenses as well as my insurance are at risk.

 

I’m at a loss, yet again, as to what I should/can do. Give me a couple more days to make some phone calls and try to get more clarification and “answers”. Hang on, everyone. I’m doing the best I can to get you back to “normal” in this crazy time… Hang tight. I’ll see what I can do.

 

 


Friday, May 22, 2020

 

Hi, Clients/Friends! A lot has transpired in the last couple of days, yet I still don’t have complete reopening information for you. The updates that I do have are as follows:

 

1) I am given the green light to reopen on May 29th “with limitations, within the IDPH guidelines”. First, I will be waiting until June 1st to start on a fresh week. That day is already booked, so I urge you to get on my schedule if you haven’t already! Second, I have absolutely no idea what the limitations and guidelines are. They’re supposedly completed and ready for us, yet the “experts” have still not shared them with us. Maybe later today…?

2) I finally received unemployment pay! One week before returning to work. Ha! But, I am very grateful as I can now catch up on bills. I am also in the process of obtaining a SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan which will help keep the business going while allowing me to catch up on/get ahead of personal finances that had to be put on hold during the Executive Order. Woohoo!

3) I am 99% positive that myself AND clients will be required to wear a face covering during services. Please be prepared to have your own! There will be a sanitation station set up outside my door that I ask each of you to utilize prior to entering. I will have a very limited amount of disposable masks available, but please know that the prices on all PPE and sanitation products has gone through the roof. So, while they must be used, I ask that if possible, please bring your own face covering.

4) I will be in the office several days next week to perform deep cleaning, sanitizing, and a little reorganizing. Please know that I am doing everything possible to provide you with a clean, healthy environment! Gloves, face masks, hand sanitizer and all kinds of PPE goodies have been ordered and should be ready by re-opening day.

5) My pup Izzy gets to meet her half-brother, Bhodi, tomorrow! That has nothing to do with the business, but I just thought I’d share because I’m really excited!

 

I’m very much looking forward to seeing you all again! Have patience with me as I attempt to physically ease myself back into the services!

 

More updates will be made as I get more information. Everyone have a healthy, safe holiday weekend!

 

Lisa & Izzy (who looked at me like I am the worst mom in the world when I made her go into her crate this morning so I could go get my oil changed in my car… Quarantine has spoiled her with constant freedom from the crate!)

 

 


 

 

Monday, May 18, 2020

 

Dear Loyal Lotus Clients,

 

First of all, I MISS YOU ALL! I wanted to write an update for you all rather than sending out brief individual texts. As of May 18th, I have no idea what’s going on… HA! Okay, but really, here’s what I know. The Governor’s current Executive Order is as clear as mud. I have been on the phone and glued to email for weeks, contacting as many government “officials” as possible, trying to find out: 1) where do I fit as far as which re-opening phase I’m allowed to open in? 2) what limitations will there be, such as service(s) I will be allowed/not be allowed to perform upon re-opening? 3) what PPE (Personal Protective Equipment, i.e. masks, gloves, etc.) will be required for myself and my clients during services? 4) where the heck is the unemployment that sole proprietors were promised?!

 

I have received minimal communication back from these representatives. Some say that sole proprietor Estheticians and Massage Therapists are included in Phase 3 with Hair Stylists and Barbers, and may re-open in Phase 3 “with limitations”. Okay, “When does Phase 3 begin?” They’re not sure, but we’re “on track for sometime around June 1, but we’ll let you know”. Alright, what are the “limitations”? I quote, “We really don’t know.” Other representatives say, “Esthetics is for sure in with Phase 3, but we have no idea about Massage. We can try to get more guidance if you want.” This is our government, folks. Clearly we see how well they communicate! Now apparently, if Pritzker’s new proposal is approved by legislation on Wednesday, he could close us for another 150 days! So… June 1st? Or another 150 days?

 

Upon speaking with others in the beauty and wellness industries, I have also received extremely mixed opinions about re-opening. Anything from, “Just open… This is stupid. They can’t do anything…” to, “You’re completely reckless if you open, even if it is allowed in Phase 3. There’s no possible way we can perform our services safely right now!” Then we have the threats from both our Governor as well as other business owners and citizens of being reported, fined, arrested and charged with a misdemeanor, losing local financial assistance, and losing our state issued licensing. Next, we have the media and the lawyers coming out with information stating that there’s no possible way the Governor can put these rules into place, and to go ahead and re-open. Last but not least, we have nurses, elderly, and high-risk people terrified for their lives, begging people to take it seriously and see that the virus is in fact still on the rise.

 

So, what is the right thing to do? Friends, I have absolutely NO idea! I have been without income since my last day of seeing clients, which was March 19th. The unemployment that we were promised was pushed back over and over again, with us FINALLY being able to register Monday of last week. I have not seen any funds yet, but I was able to Certify on Friday evening. So, I’m hopeful that things are moving in the right direction. However, the unemployment benefits that they are allowing us sole proprietors do not come anywhere close to what we make in a week doing our regular work. I applied for loan after loan, only to be told that they were being handed out to larger businesses… or restaurants and bars. My stimulus check did come! Just in time for property taxes. They say we might get a second stimulus check! Awesome, just in time for the income taxes due in July. Ha! I don’t tell you all this for your pity, but rather for you to see what position our government has left us small businesses and sole-proprietors in, as well as how extremely difficult it is to make a choice on exactly when to re-open safely. Do I want and need to get back to Lotus? Absolutely! Am I still scared because the numbers are still on the rise in McLean County and surrounding areas? You betcha. Many of you, my clients, could be considered high-risk due to some of your ages and health histories. A few of you have spouses or children who are high-risk. My own dad is high-risk. But, the banks are getting as frustrated as we are, wondering if we can pay the car note yet. What about the credit card payment? Or the mortgage payment? Let’s not forget the rent and insurance to keep the business open. Oh, by the way, my Esthetics and Massage insurances refuse to cover me if our state is under any kind of Executive Order. Yet another risk! So, my goodness, what does one do?!?

 

While it isn’t really an answer, here is my current plan. I have many of you tentatively scheduled starting June 1st. Keep those appointments until you hear otherwise! Those who haven’t yet rescheduled, please do so as soon as you can! I will be monitoring the Governor’s press conferences and the guidelines from the IDPH for as much clarification as I can get, and I will certainly update this page as soon as I have any kind of clarity on anything. We are supposed to get some better answers this Friday. So, go ahead and schedule for June if you’re able, and if our re-opening date gets pushed yet again, I will continue to push appointments back as needed.

 

I wish I had better answers for you all. But the fact of the matter is that literally no one on this planet has the “right” answer for any of this right now.  I just ask that you all STAY HEALTHY, stay patient, and stay loyal and come back to me when all of this is over!

 

In the meantime, see what I’ve been up to on my crafting page: www.facebook.com/LotusCreations888.

 

Please text me with any and all questions, or just to say ‘hi’ and let me know what you’ve been up to. I will put updates at the top of this page whenever I get them. I truly hope to see all of you soon! Most important of all, though, I sincerely hope you are all healthy and well.

 

Much Love,

 

Lisa (and pup, Izzy, who thinks I quit my job to be with her!)