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  • Hilaire Phillips

Why wearing a mask is essential to BLOOM

You may not think you are worried about COVID. You may not be at "risk". You may think it infringes upon your rights to be told you have to wear a mask. And you may uncomfortable wearing one, complain about it constantly, or make fun of those who wear them wherever they go. But for us at BLOOM, wearing a mask is essential and here is why. If any single one of us at the salon gets sick or shows ANY symptoms.... we are closed for 2 weeks regardless. CLOSED. After being closed for two months, that is the last thing we want. After the news from Springfield, MO this past week where two stylists tested positive for COVID and had exposed 140 customers, I would hope people would realize that what we are asking of our clients isn't too much.

Those numbers from Springfield only apply to the actual salon, those who were exposed then went on their way and possibly exposed even more people. Since 60% of those infected have no symptoms, it's not as simple as people would like to believe. As a stylist, I am with my clients for up to 2 1/2 hours at a time. That's not a trip to the store walking around. That's me standing right next to you. As I sit here watching the news showing the crowds at the Lake of the Ozarks and no social distancing, I wonder what next week will bring. You may think you're young, you're not at risk, it's no big deal. But what if you did get it and gave it to someone who is at risk? I have clients who are at risk. My mother is at risk. You don't know that I'M not at risk. Remember, it's not about you. It's about everyone else. So yes, they may have had hand sanitizer available at Backwater Jack's, but it's the respiratory issue that we need to be aware of because that's how it spreads. I personally saw no masks, no distancing or anything else that would keep anyone safe from how this virus is actually transmitted.

BLOOM is my business and all of us who work there rely on it for our income, but we also respect and love every single one of our clients. If I feel someone shows up to work and is sick, I will send them home. If someone comes for their appointment and any of us feel they have symptoms of being sick, they will be asked to reschedule. It's that simple. I will continue wearing a mask when I go to the store because I care about you, my co-workers, and my family. People can make their comments and ridicule me as much as they want. But to quote my son, "When the heart is affected, the mind is challenged to change." I've lost someone to something that people say could have been prevented. I've been blamed for it by strangers who know NOTHING of the circumstances surrounding his suicide. But I do know that I will do all I can, as I did for him, to keep everyone who trusts me and BLOOM as safe as I can. Because that's what kind human beings do.

As I read the comments from people complaining about having to wear a mask, I also find they are the same ones who want everything open. I find the dichotomy disturbing because they aren't thinking it through. So until further notice, we will stand behind the chair wearing our mask for eight hours a day and happily color and cut your hair while you ALSO wear a mask and hopefully somewhere down the road, we will look back on this and be able to see that humanity really did win in the end.

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