Moving Forward by Marie Donnarumma Jenkinson
Moving Forward by Marie Donnarumma Jenkinson
We are hearing many US states are opening for business during this Global Covid-19 Coronavirus Pandemic Crisis. Putting all politics aside, sadly, our PMU industry is high on the list as a profession with the greatest risk of exposure for infection. We are NOT ONLY in close contact to our clients faces but our procedures can last up to 2 hours or more at a given time. Currently, there is no true understanding of the many components of the Covid-19 coronavirus as it relates to testing, prevention, treatment and reoccurrence.
As per the medical experts, it is a very different virus than the many coronaviruses we ever have been exposed to. I live in one of the largest hotspots in the world and have had many years of experience as an ICU, critical care nurse in NYC, so I am very aware of what those on the front lines are experiencing. I am now in private practice as Certified Aesthetic Nurse Specialist and also proud to be a PMU artist for 17 years. Am I worried right now? YES. VERY. I have witnessed first hand what the virus is doing to my family and friends not only by being victim to its infection but from dying from it. Some also have been working every day on the front lines fighting this vicious unpredictable enemy. The grief and worry has been overwhelming to say the least. Sadly, on a separate note, we will be hearing about those directly affected and suffering from Post Traumatic Distress Syndrome (PTDS) in the coming months.
This virus transmits by droplets in various particle sizes and it is airborne. Having said that, just merely speaking to someone face to face can pose a threat due to the emission the viral particles released. This is the very reason for our social distancing. These viral particles can land in the nose, mouths and even eyes of another person or live on surrounding surfaces in variable amounts of time. One can be infected and not have any symptoms at all but can still transmit the disease. Here is the scary part- This particular virus not ONLY affects the lungs but also creates issues in the blood associated with oxygenation and clotting, damages muscles, affects every organ of the body especially the heart and kidneys, and plays havoc on the central nervous system ( experts say this might be the reason for the loss of taste and smell). The media has made us aware of the need for ventilators, but there is also a great need for renal (kidney) dialysis and blood transfusion machines. To date, testing of the virus to see if one is positive is still not a universal standard test. The testing is done by nasopharyngeal swabs, saliva or blood by all different labs. The tests are also not easily accessible nor are available to different areas right now. I just heard today that a home testing kit was approved expeditiously by the FDA -so that is great news.
The second level of testing being done concurrently will test for antibodies in the blood which would tell us if someone has had the Covid-19 coronavirus and at what levels it is presented in the body. We still so not know with certainty if someone can be reininfected once having it or if this virus will EVER go away. Right now there are no proven gold standards for its treatment or prevention with specific drugs, plasma infusions, nor is there a vaccine available at this time. Some PMU artists in the industry believe that standard blood-borne precautions are JUST fine. THEY ARE NOT. Many in the PMU Industry are disagreeing about what they need to wear, or how it’s pathogens are no different what they are already doing or their places of business are kept “clean”. There are many “discussions” on when one should return to work or not. No one should be telling anyone what to do, but those who decide to go to work should be doing it responsibly and weigh the consequences should they themselves become sick or expose others. NO doubt there are many families who are experiencing a severe economic struggle and want to return back to work. The financial impact is real and the fear of losing everything is devastating. People have put their hearts and souls, as well as, every penny they have to create their businesses. We are all experiencing the hardships during this pandemic together due to so much uncertainty. Everyone is allowed to be concerned about returning back to work or not.
So how do we move forward? By being smart and kind. There must be a united effort among all PMU artists and a well devised plan established in preparation for the coming days/months when opening. This virus is not going away any time soon and there are still too many unknowns. So rather than disagreeing with each other about “IF” or “When” or “Why” we should be thinking about the “How” in returning back to work. We NEED to be focusing on the best strategies insuring everyone’s well-being going forward. Be mindful that not only do we need to be extremely careful for ourselves when going back to work but there are many other logistics which need to be in place for the safety of others. That is a topic for another discussion. Everyone should start thinking about what they need consider, for example, should consults be virtual, should payments be done electronically, how many clients to see in a given day, should we not have waiting rooms, do we need new consents, representation, releases and acknowledgment forms. ( I am working on some of those now for both clients and employees). You may want want your client to wear a face mask and just start on brows at first and hold off for a while doing lips. We all may need to phase in adding additional services in due time. Will you need to hire a special cleaning service for peace of mind? Not to sound paranoid, but there are many considerations that MUST be made prior to opening up your business and there must be some changes planned. So while everyone is on lockdown, try to be pro-active and make all of the necessary preparations now while you now have the time.
Until we have a cure, prevention or drugs that are proven effective, new strategies need to be created and implemented. Please be prepared, stay safe and stay open minded to what you need to do to protect yourself and everyone around you. We are all in this together. I would encouraged some of my colleagues and good friends to weigh in here as I respectfully admit, I do not have all of the answers.