The COVID Diaries – Planning Ahead

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Therapist Anne-Marie prepares to reopen her business after lockdown

A new tier system will come into force after the second lockdown ends. We catch up with Anne-Marie as she plans ahead for reopening her business under the new COVID guidelines.

Monday 16th November 

The start of another week in lockdown. I miss my clients and the clinic, however it is just a few more weeks. I will be able to reopen my clinic on the 3rd December, providing the government does not extend the lockdown.

Government updates have informed us that Royal Mail will be working hard to increase collections and the number of priority post boxes in an effort to speed up home testing. This is going to be so helpful for those that have had to get a test. 

Tuesday 17th November

Scotland will be announcing new lockdown restrictions today. It’s a very strange time. I felt quite positive returning to work in September, but this series of lockdowns in Wales, then England and now Scotland, highlights how hard it is to combat the virus. 

Knowing how important self care is at the moment, I focus on a book I was recently given: “Feel Better in 5: Your Daily Plan to Feel Great for Life” – by Dr Ranjan Chatterjee. Dr Chatterjee writes about how small achievable habit-changes can help everyone improve their health. This is just what I need right now! 

Thursday 19th November

The government released a new film showing the importance of ventilation to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Having watched the video, it really does emphasise how important it is to open windows for 10-15 minutes regularly throughout the day, and before, during and after having visitors. 

From a client perspective, when I was running my clinic I was ventilating the room before the client arrived, during and after their session.  It is going to be harder during the colder months, however letting in fresh air in short bursts will help to reduce the risk in the clinic.

Friday 20th November

The recent news updates have been positive – it appears that the vaccine works well on the elderly population, which is such great news. I see many elderly clients, so if the vaccine is rolled out next year, this could make a big difference as to whether my elderly and vulnerable clients wish to come for a treatment. Although it is hard right now, I do feel a little bit more hopeful that life can return to some sort of normality next year. 

Monday 23rd November

Today there is another government update – the lockdown in England will end on the 2nd December. Three tiered regional measures will come into force from that date. 

We will know what tier we will be in on Thursday, so I will check then and see what new measures will be put in place. Apparently these tiers will be reviewed every 14 days and the regional approach will last until March/April next year. That will be exactly a year since I initially closed my business – what a year this has been! 

I can see from a quick look at the tiers that even at Tier 3, which is very high, personal care and hairdressing is allowed. In theory this would mean that I would not need to close my business again. 

Tuesday 24th November

Apparently we can make a Christmas bubble with friends and family too – so will read up on this. This time last year, who would have thought this would all be happening? It is really hard to come to terms with and I feel incredibly sad that we are all going through this. Everyone is affected different ways – it isn’t easy at all. I spend the evening thinking about “bubbles”.

Thursday 26th November

Today I wake up and it is cold and foggy. The sun is shining brightly by lunchtime – I go for a walk and think about reopening my practice next week. The time has come around quickly. Although I’m pleased to be able to reopen and support my clients again, it feels daunting to return to the procedures and PPE processes that I had pre-lockdown.  

I will need to read the latest FHT guidance and check for updates since my clinic was last open. This will ensure I can open safely with confidence in following the latest guidance.

It has just been announced that the area in which I live will be in Tier 2 – High Alert – from the 2nd December. I am unsure what this means, so spend some time understanding it all by reading the government update: Local restriction tiers – what you need to know

Monday 30th November

Over the weekend I sent an email to my clients advising that I was re-opening on Thursday and that I was taking bookings. I suddenly get many calls, texts and emails from clients. I feel more positive that my clinic will reopen and I can continue supporting my clients like I used to. 

Today the third SEISS grant is open for applications which covers the period November 2020 – January 2021. 

I look at the statistics for COVID cases and today has marked the lowest new cases of COVID for a while at 12,330. The curve is starting to come down again. 

As we follow Anne-Marie’s journey, we would love to hear your stories, too.

Can you relate to Anne-Marie’s experience? Have you felt overwhelmed by the information available? What have you struggled with? Please share in the comments. Don’t forget to sign up to become a member of PPH to receive industry news and updates.

We would like to stress that all information given in our COVID series is not exhaustive and while we have tried to ensure that the information provided in this document is accurate, PPH cannot be held liable for any errors or omissions. The COVID situation is constantly evolving and the information is changing on a daily basis. We urge you to closely follow your government, professional association and insurance company’s latest guidelines and updates, taking precedence over any recommendations communicated by PPH.