And….here we are.

On March 9, 2020, a public health emergency and a state of emergency were declared by NJ Governor Murphy to combat the well-established fact–a novel and fast-spreading virus was having a devastating affect on the lives of New Jerseyans.

In an effort to combat the spread of the virus, social distancing requirements with an emphasis on sanitation and hygiene practices were implemented in the third week of March. Brick-and-mortar businesses– like bāsalt– were required to close; people were ordered to stay home; and, if possible, companies were encouraged to allow their employees to work-from-home.

By the end of May, the affect of these implementations was reassessed. Restrictions slowly began to be relaxed for lower-risk outdoor activities when it was recognized that there was not only a decrease in the rate of new cases of COVID-19 in NJ, but a reduction in the number of hospital admissions for COVID-19.

From then on out, the State of NJ has initiated a multi-phase strategy in an attempt to ignite the economy and re-open businesses. Both indoor and outdoor gathering sizes were gradually–albeit marginally–increased. However, the state of emergency remained in place–for good reason.

To date: SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes the disease process named COVID-19, has taken the lives of almost 15,000 New Jerseyans and is still lingering in our communities. People are still testing positive, people are still dying, and some people–who have “recovered”–will suffer life-altering sequelae as a result of their body’s valiant fight against the virus.

On June 13, 2020, Governor Murphy declared that effective June 22, 2020 at 6:00 a.m., some “personal care service facilities” were permitted to reopen to the public provided that the facility complies with health and safety standards issued by the Division of Consumer Affairs.

Honestly, with regard to whether or not to re-open, it’s an ever-evolving ethical dilemma depending upon the day, my attitude, and what I have allowed my brain to assimilate.

Everywhere I look, soap boxes are stacked like scaffolding.

I have to check my ego daily–as a person; as a nurse; as a massage therapist and then throw it all out the door. I have to check in with my motivation and my mission constantly–prioritize and re-prioritize. What is actually important? Am I even working off the right list?

Such is life.

This question regarding whether or not it is “okay” to resume practicing massage therapy during a pandemic is laughable to my clinical brain which, in turn, shatters my inner empath. This is the dilemma one faces when they have been deemed “non-essential”.

But nothing has changed.

The virus is still present. It still sheds from asymptomatic carriers. It is flung through the air via the microscopic aerosols during normal conversation and hangs there until sucked into the lungs of the person fastest to breathe next.

Adequate and accurate testing for the virus continues to be variable. How the virus affects people is variable–treatment is variable. Life and death… variable. You get the picture.

bāsalt believes that therapeutic touch is natural & preventative.

Whether or not it is “essential” is… variable.

Every facet of our health is impacted by our bodies’ ability to be one with nature. If you are like many people here in Ocean City, NJ, you were excited when–after what seemed like forever indoors and away from others–restrictions were slowly lifted.. allowing for access to the beach, boardwalk, and public walking paths. One could actually feel the psychic shift away from this town’s collective sense of clausterphobia.

We are now able to ground ourselves with the earth, decrease inflammation naturally, and protect our bodies from dis-ease. Now we must also make decisions based on new-found knowledge and intuition. Collectively, we must throw our egos out the door, check in with our motivation, prioritize, and above all–mitigate our risk. Then we can effectively answer the question:

Is A massage right for you– right now?

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