First, do no harm
We’re seeing the stirrings of people wanting to get back to work after our quarantine has flattened the curve in Ohio. While we may have helped health care workers not be overwhelmed by the number of cases they have to deal with at once, this virus is not going away any time soon. Some of my colleagues in massage therapy are talking about reopening and what measures they’ll be putting in place to sanitize their rooms between clients, which many of us were already doing anyway.
It is still too early for me to feel like I can reopen anytime soon. We are discovering that many people are carrying antibodies for this novel corona virus who were completely asymptomatic. They never knew they had the virus. Then again, questions remain whether or not these tests are accurate. It’s a mystery as to why some people exposed to the virus experience no symptoms, while others end up a few days after exposure fighting for their lives.
Because there is so much that is unknown at this point, I cannot in good conscience reopen any time soon. It would kill me to think that I might be responsible for the death of one of my beloved clients. I simply love you all too much to reopen until I am positive that doing so will not put any of us in peril. That’s the bottom line for me.
Before I can reopen my practice in good conscience, I will need to see the following: (1) widespread accurate testing for blood serum antibodies, (2) proven scientific knowledge about how long we’re immune to this virus once we know we have blood serum antibodies, (3) dependable widely available vaccines, and (4) access to certified proof that we are immune to SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19). Because this is likely many months away, I have made the decision to move out of my office. When I can reopen, it will be in a new office.
Other massage therapists are taking other courses, and this is understandable. They have to work or risk starving. I am blessed to not have to make that choice, as most of you know by the generosity of time I can give you thanks to my husband’s good job. I understand if you need to find another massage therapist in the meantime because I know what it’s like to need a massage because you’re in pain. I deeply regret that I cannot in good conscience help ease your pain at this time, but my own risk for this virus due to the inflammatory response my body has is significant. My former colleague, Melly Imm, at California Medical Massage on Kellogg Avenue will be reopening with excellent sanitation protocols as soon as Ohio restrictions are lifted. You may also benefit from the good work I’ve received at Medical Massage Associates in Withamsville.
I will let you know where I land when this pandemic is done, in case you’d like to return. In the meantime, like and follow the Facebook page for Massage Ministration, become a follower, etc. I’m posting things there for self-care and pain relief.
I continue to pray for you as I lament this horrible situation. I’m so frustrated to have to do this because I was witnessing your progressive healing, and that is a beautiful thing to behold. What's more, I just miss you all and sharing in your lives. Please pray for me as I pack up the office and move. I think I’m still in the denial phase of grief because this just hurts.
Stay in touch, ok? (Yeah, I see the irony there. Sorry.)
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Teresa Eisenlohr is a licensed massage therapist who's also an ordained Presbyterian pastor with a Ph.D. in Christian theology. Needless to say, it's been a weird and interesting healing journey.