How Not to Shutdown During the Shutdown.
COVID-19 (coronavirus) is something that none of us ever saw coming and even worse, something that none of us were prepared for. Even though our country had a couple of weeks to plan and man our stations after the initial leak in China, no time would have been enough time. Never in our lives could we have imagined that not only our country, but the entire world would be engaged in what seems to be an ongoing societal shutdown; an immediate halt to life as we know it.
Change can be scary. Change presents a certain unpredictability; an uneasy feeling that strikes you to your core. When will this pandemic be over? Will our economy recover? Will I recover? These are all questions that we now ask ourselves on a daily basis. When you remove the pillar that your entire business is built on, face-to-face interaction, your business crumbles. A beauty professionals’ brand is only as strong as their connection with their clients. When you remove the clients, what’s left? While grocery stores, Amazon and other online markets, long-haul truckers, and home delivery drivers have seen a large increase in business, those who earn a living through direct client communication have not. The beauty world has taken a huge hit this past month along with other major customer driven industries such as retail, restaurants, transportation, and travel.
Though it may be tempting to ignore protocol and perform services under the radar, our compassionate industry is committed to protecting our most vulnerable neighbors and family members. We as an industry have embraced the calls to limit social interaction and service commerce because we all need to do our part in tackling the virus. Though we stand by this firmly, we also know that unless these restrictions are lifted soon, our livelihoods as individuals are at stake, absent immense government assistance.
Ohio is not the only state suffering greatly. As of March 19th, California Governor, Gavin Newsom, was one of the first state governor’s to enforce a stay-at-home order along with strict social distancing measures in hopes of getting ahead of the invisible monster. Due to the social restrictions, a state that normally administer 30,000+ licensing examinations for beauty school graduates, is now seeing a huge dip in new professionals coming into the industry since all testing has been suspended. Professionals are worried that those who were on track to take their examination during this shutdown may now earn lower scores due to the increase in the amount of time between graduation and test taking.
Though it may seem that we are drawing nearer and nearer to the end of this pandemic, we know that there will never be a finite ending. There will never be a moment where we can just close the book and say that we’re done reading. COVID-19 is being treated as an event similar to 9/11 and the recession of 2008. Though both of those events were only fleeting moments in our lives, the aftermath and utter devastation they created lasted for years in a sense to which we may never recover. COVID-19 will have the same impact on our society. Even after a vaccine is founded and the virus itself has virtually disappeared, our country will be left in crippling debt, some industries more than others. Communication will forever be changed. Human interaction will now be done without a handshake. People will carry hand sanitizer with them wherever they go. Face masks will now be fashion’s newest accessory. If it can be done online, it will be. Everything is going to be different and it will stay different for the foreseeable future. Even with help from the government, the thin profit margins that salon and spa owners now have to navigate without any income are only shrinking as their financial obligations continue to grow just to keep their businesses afloat. To put it simply, there will be millions more people impacted by the economic downfall of this pandemic than by any China-originated virus.
We know this is scary but trust us when we say we will get through this! One of the beautiful things about the beauty industry is it is never going to go away. This is an industry that will bounce back and bounce back HARD. We know you’ve been tempted by clients and friends and family to bend the rules for them during this shutdown and sneak a root touch up, a nail fill, or an eyebrow wax. That demand is always going to be there so just be ready; once this ban is lifted, you are going to see a flood of clients making their way to you. And you know what else? We’re going to be waiting with open arms, compassionate hearts, and expert hands.
Stay strong. Stay positive. Stay healthy. Thank you all for your patience during this shutdown and we cannot wait to be back open and serving our community soon. We miss you. Please follow us along on our website for our latest updates.
Written by Kari Van Arsdale for Creative Images Institute of Cosmetology