In writing this policy I’ve tried to keep as up to date with research as possible, bearing in mind that C19 is a new virus and new knowledge is emerging all the time.
At the time of writing the UK has the largest number of C19 deaths per million people in the world.
London seems to have lower rates of transmission than some other cities though the virus is still very active. In other pandemics a second increase in infections and deaths has occurred when a population returns to normal life.
The impact of C19 can range from no symptoms at all, aches and pains, long term respiratory problems, stokes, heart attacks and other blood clotting problems, to multi organ failure and death. Being ventilated entails being put into an artificial coma and having a 23cm tube inserted into the trachea. Families of people who are terminally ill, or dying from C19 are not allowed to visit their loved ones and those people will die with a very kind stranger by their bed. Recovery from C19 is by no means straightforward and, being a new disease, not well understood.
People can carry the virus without having symptoms but still be highly infectious.
The viral load – how many viruses are in the air – seems to become critical at around 15 minutes in a closed space, even if the 2m exclusion zone is maintained.
"Given how little is known about the production and airborne behavior of infectious respiratory droplets, it is difficult to define a safe distance for social distancing. Assuming SARS-CoV-2 virions are contained in submicron aerosols, as is the case for influenza virus, a good comparison is exhaled cigarette smoke, which also contains submicron particles and will likely follow comparable flows and dilution patterns. The distance from a smoker at which one smells cigarette smoke indicates the distance in those surroundings at which one could inhale infectious aerosols. In an enclosed room with asymptomatic individuals, infectious aerosol concentrations can increase over time. Overall, the probability of becoming infected indoors will depend on the total amount of SARS-CoV-2 inhaled. Ultimately, the amount of ventilation, number of people, how long one visits an indoor facility, and activities that affect air flow will all modulate viral transmission pathways and exposure (10). For these reasons, it is important to wear properly fitted masks indoors even when 6 ft apart."
For me, wearing a mask while being with a client complicates matters more than working online without masks. If a client begins crying how do they manage that while wearing a mask? Using a mask to to protect against C19 is complex. And this is before any psychological considerations.
If I am asymptomatic, have the virus and come into work I am highly likely to transmit it to a client. Both of us, using public transport, will be at very serious risk both of infecting others and being infected.
Hairdressers, pubs and restaurants have been told not to open before July 4th "at the earliest" and I'll review my decision to remain working on line then.
Worldwide, the huge majority of therapy clients have transitioned to either phone or video work and have continued to find it useful. Many clients are saying that they appreciate the time saved in not having to travel to and from therapy, some say that they can feel and say more because they don’t have to immediately adapt to the world outside of the therapy room, and feel less embarrassed about crying in their own home rather than in their therapists office.
For me, face to face therapy is the gold standard and video therapy the silver gilt. Nothing is worth risking your, my own or public health when it can be easily protected.
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