COVID19 life Reading Work

Day 61: Rainy Day / Reopening?! / One Friday Link

May 15, 2020

I slept in this morning. Everyone is still asleep right now (it’s 7:08), but probably up soon. It is pouring! It would be a lovely day to stay home and see patients from my bedroom, but I definitely have to go in. (Added an emergency in-person patient + need to see multiple hospital patients).

It is day #4/7 of call. It feels like day #9 or something. It has been busy. BUT I got to sleep without interruption last night by some miracle so I am happy and feeling ready to take on the day.

And . . . (drumroll) . . . the local papers are reporting that our county (along with Miami-Dade, our neighboring county to the south) will be starting phase 1 of reopening this Monday. Does that mean this series is over? Clearly the pandemic is not over, I certainly recognize that. But our local cases have trended downwards.

My hair stylist (also small salon owner) called me to book me for straightening (taking only one client at a time, screening procedures, following regulations, masks required, etc). I’m sure he is very eager to get some business back again. I’m debating but leaning towards going in ~2 weeks or so. Would you go?

Here are Dade County’s recent #s (where my salon is):

hmm. doesn’t look as flat as I would have expected for a planned “Phase 1”

Here are Broward County’s recent #s (where I live):


One big link:

Modern Mrs. Darcy’s Summer Reading Guide is here! I had a great reading experience choosing ~10+ titles from her list last summer and plowing through them. I’m not sure I’m going to be quite as ambitious this time, but there are some seriously juicy-looking novels I have my eye on.

check it out & download for free via the MMD site

I am definitely going to spend some time this weekend picking titles from the list. Just hoping that libraries will start reopening for pickup!!!!

PS: I finally finished Mason Currey’s Daily Rituals: How Artists Work. I have his companion How Women Work, but I need a break from reading about other people’s rituals! It was an interesting read, though.


  • Reply A. May 15, 2020 at 8:22 am

    In my city (population around 150 000), less than 100 cases total since the beginning, zero case active in weeks… and phase 1 is not even on. Hair salon are not reopened and it will take weeks. People are still very cautious. It is politics now. Decisions will vary greatly from place to place. Seeing your graphic… I would not go.

  • Reply Marcia (OrganisingQueen) May 15, 2020 at 8:30 am

    I think it’s a little soon, but the hairdresser (for my Brazilian treatment) is definitely first on my list of places to go once we’re in a level 2 or 1 scenario (we’ve finished two weeks of level 4 today in South Africa)

  • Reply A May 15, 2020 at 8:31 am

    Ugh, the haircut thing is tough. We’re in the Triangle (Cary, NC), and Phase 1 started last Friday. I desperately want a haircut, as I had a baby in February and had planned to get some kind of fun/fancy haircut to go back into the office. I’m choosing no for now – but that’s partially because I’m looking at the baby-related scary stuff in New York and getting anxious. But if I didn’t have a 13 week old, maybe I would!

  • Reply Irene May 15, 2020 at 8:33 am

    Oh I have so many thought on this. None really helpful or definite, just a lot of thoughts.

    My husband and I were talking about this the other day as part of our state is reopening. I think in general our governor has done an excellent job but some parts of our state are clearly struggling much more than others and I worry people will get the wrong signal from this partial re-opening. This group of moms (at least 6/7 frequently more) had finally stopped their group happy hour walks with essentially no effort to social distance and no masks a few weeks and then the second *other* parts of the state announced they will relax their restrictions- boom they are right back out. It’s really fun to explain to your kids why they can’t see their friends when a bunch of women old enough to know better is so obviously doing so.

    Ugh ok I am done with that rant! We are going to start (when safe/allowed) with small social interactions such as extended family following distancing as much as we can with small kids. My thinking is that we really need human interaction And to maintain our relationships and I can dye my own hair (poorly). But I realistically understand that the type of salon visit you describe is relatively low risk and you definitely need to decide for your self!

    Does the fact that you and Josh are not really able to isolate play into your decisions at all? My mom is the person the kids want to see most but my husband is nervous because she is continuing to work as a nurse and definitely has more exposure than us. I feel more concerned about transmitting to her because of her age but we have been extremely careful… anyway it’s just really hard to know what to do.

  • Reply Laura May 15, 2020 at 8:36 am

    I’m up in the St Pete area and we reopened this past Monday. I tentatively have a hair appointment tentatively scheduled for two weeks from now. I’m going to see how it goes and decide if I want to go in or not but I would really like to, partly to fix my hair and partly to support my hairdresser who is a single mom to three kids.

  • Reply Megan May 15, 2020 at 8:49 am

    I’m in Australia where we have had approx 20 new cases per day country wide for several weeks now and I’m still not going to the hairdresser (most are closed)- one person at a time still means your hairdresser sees lots of people in a week- do you really want to be connected to everyone he’s connected to and their contacts? I am honestly shocked at how loose the restrictions have been over there and how quickly things are reopening despite ongoing high numbers of cases.

    • Reply A. May 16, 2020 at 8:33 am

      Yes it is crazy… the numbers I see for the first County, we don’t even have these numbers province wide per day… and it is the most populated province in Canada.

    • Reply Li May 17, 2020 at 11:06 pm

      also in australia here… reading the comments here make me realise that we have a very different viewpoint from lots of people in the US. A little curious at possible cultural differences contributing to the differences in decision-making. Given the case numbers, I wouldn’t go if it was me but I’d buy a voucher to the salon for future treatments to help the hairdresser out for now (also wonder if Sarah you felt obliged to go because he rang?).

      • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger May 18, 2020 at 5:40 am

        yes, interesting. I think it’s probably more about regulations and what’s going on around you contributing to different perceptions of acceptable risk.

        I would absolutely pay him now for later. I continued to pay our cleaners & babysitter when they were not coming just to make sure they were ok and b/c being unable to come was not their fault! And yes, he did reach out to me (I am one of his most loyal clients 🙂 ). But I didn’t feel pressured.

  • Reply Lisa of Lisa's Yarns May 15, 2020 at 9:04 am

    We are starting to re-open here in Minnesota, too, even though our case counts are trending up. I feel like it won’t really impact how we are living our lives, though. We are going to continue to social distance, keep working from home, not get together with people in general. I am doing a playdate with a friend this weekend, but we are going to be outdoors and our kids go to the same daycare so they are exposed to the same stuff. But that’s it for gathering for us. I’m trying to figure out how we can safely visit my parents – now that our son is back in daycare (which has been soooo good for me and my mental health), we have no idea what he is exposed to. It’s going to break my parents hearts if we can’t go up to their lake home this summer, but I don’t know how we could safely do that since they are both high risk (but not really concerned with COVID??).

    I was super excited to get the SRG from MMD. I look forward to it every May and read a ton of books from it. Our library is offering contactless curbside pick up, but you can’t return books so their inventory of buzzy books is kind of non-existent. But I’ve gotten lucky and got a couple of books that way. I’m hoping they can start to accept returns soon so they have more inventory to work with.

    Tough call on the hair thing… I won’t need a haircut for some time so don’t need to think about that yet. But my son desperately needs a haircut… Our salons open on 6/1 so I will probably try to get his hair cut in June. I just can’t do it myself as he has super fine white blond hair and it shows every mistake you make (I know because we tried to cut it last summer! it was bad!).

  • Reply gwinne May 15, 2020 at 9:09 am

    Roughly 50 cases in your area per day seems like an awful lot. Our county has never had close to that and some of our facilities are closed through July. Statewide our cases are high (not locally).

  • Reply Amanda May 15, 2020 at 9:16 am

    I have a hair cut scheduled in 2 weeks, and I’m okay with it. Masks are required, and the salon owner has other protocols in place. One client at a time, wait in your car, etc. A friend of mine did a keratin treatment in her backyard – stylist came to her, they wore masks, and they stayed outside except for when my friend came inside to wash her own hair.

    MMD Summer reading guide – I am so excited! Though I need the library to reopen. I know they’re trying to figure it out. This week PBC libraries started calling patrons to make appointments to pick up books that were requested prior to the library closing. You show up at your scheduled pickup time wearing a mask to show your library card, and they give you the books. I have a pickup on Monday. They are still not allowing new holds, and staff only in the building.

  • Reply Omdg May 15, 2020 at 9:21 am

    You need population prevalence, not total new cases, to make a decision. Also, context of new cases matters. Are they mostly among nursing home patients or prisoners? That may have different ramifications for safety than if it were people in the general population. Personally I go back and forth about how dangerous everything is, but my perspective is severely warped given what I do for a living.

    • Reply Alyssa May 15, 2020 at 10:16 am

      Came here to say this! Would be more informative to see the case rate per 1000 people and the context for those cases (all clustered in outbreak? institutionally related?). Of course this is a personal decision. For us– I worry that being a healthcare worker makes me more exposed at baseline (like you, can only be partially telehealth at the most) and so plan to be very slow with resuming our normal activities. Phase 1 here is set to start soon, and we have single-digit new-case-per-day numbers in absolute terms (far less than 1 per 1000).

    • Reply gwinne May 15, 2020 at 12:17 pm

      OMDG, what’s a “reasonable” number per 1000, do you think?

      • Reply Omdg May 15, 2020 at 1:58 pm

        Pennsylvania is using 0.5% prevalence, but even this number only really works with good testing and tracing, and isolation of new infections.

  • Reply KGC May 15, 2020 at 9:24 am

    Like most others, I don’t have a solid answer other than to say that I’m also debating visiting the person who cuts my hair (she can open as of today at 5pm). I’d love to support her, as I know that she’s almost certainly in need of the money, but I am trying to assess the number of thoughtful risks we take to see if this one should be included. For us, our biggest risk is that we are sending our 4-year-old and 1-year-old to daycare with four other children. Because we know this is a risk, we are trying to reduce any other risks that we might otherwise deem okay if our kids had been home with us for the past two months.

    The partner of the person who cuts my hair is a firefighter, so he is not able to socially distance. Because I feel like we’re already using up our ‘big risk’ by sending kids to daycare, our decision for now is to really minimize anything else we’re doing. I suspect that a haircut or color or other service is probably low-risk if everyone is masked, but it’s one more thing to add to the pot for us, so we have decided not to…at least for now. My opinion may change in another two weeks!

    So I don’t think anyone can answer the question for you, other than to provide additional food for thought. Given that you are a smart, well-informed person, I suspect any decision you make will be the right one! (though the internet might have you believe otherwise because commenters can be jerks…typically not YOUR commenters, but others on other blogs that I’ve seen!)

  • Reply Mara May 15, 2020 at 11:39 am

    Just a book suggestion based on other books you’ve read and suggested… try The Woman in Cabin 10. It’s a good page turner!

  • Reply Laura May 15, 2020 at 12:28 pm

    I would go.

  • Reply Tamara Cohen May 15, 2020 at 12:29 pm

    Here in Madrid, we are still in level 0 and you better bet I made myself an appointment the first day we could for hair straightening!

    • Reply Jen May 15, 2020 at 10:56 pm

      Curious what things are like there now?

  • Reply Amy May 15, 2020 at 12:30 pm

    I’m in Massachusetts where we still seem to have quite a few cases each week. I’m a librarian and we’re hoping to start curbside pickups in the next week or so depending on what our Governor says next week. Personally, I’m hesitant to go to the hairdresser or anything that is in such close contact. I asked my husband if he’d cut my hair but I don’t think he’s going to go for it. 🙂

    I am nervous as restrictions ease up, because I see the news stories of places like Wisconsin where people seemed to immediately pack the bars. I don’t think I’d be comfortable to see that at the current time.

    Thank you for the summer guide link! I’ll be using this myself for my own summer reading choices, but I think the selections are great to share with our library patrons as well.

  • Reply Jessica May 15, 2020 at 12:34 pm

    My thoughts on getting your hair done- if you are going to get it done anyway, I’m not sure waiting two weeks with people exposing themselves more is a better plan than trying to be the first appointment/client when things do open up. With both of you wearing masks, etc. I’m 37 weeks pregnant, so we are still being really strict, and here in California, we are under Shelter in Place until the end of May.

  • Reply Gillian May 15, 2020 at 1:38 pm

    I would have no qualms about getting my hair cut and colored. I got my hair cut and colored in NY on 3/13. That was certainly a risker time than now. I also feel like while I don’t want to hang out in a room with a CV+ patient, I think we are all likely to get this at some point. I am only willing to curtail my activities so much for so long. Everything we do is a calculated risk. This seems like a small one. Plus, if someone doesn’t go and get their hair cut, she won’t be able to keep her business open and she won’t be there later when you want to go. It is time to (carefully) get back out there!

  • Reply Meg May 15, 2020 at 1:46 pm

    I don’t think my state is going to open up hair/nail salons anytime soon, but I am embarrassed to admit (to myself even) that getting my hair colored is the first convenience I am looking forward to going back to. My county has <10 new cases/day (pop 370k), so the chance of interacting with a person with COVID (or live virus) is low in just a single outing. I also trust my stylist to keep safe practices professionally/personally. Still, I'm torn. It's just hair…

  • Reply Tsh May 15, 2020 at 10:06 pm

    I’d go and I’d try to be one of the first. Counter intuitively, if the hairdresser has been distancing, then the risk would be lower if you went in first rather than waiting to see how things shake out with other clients. I don’t need a hair cut for a while, but if I did, that’d be my plan.

  • Reply Maggie May 16, 2020 at 4:32 am

    I would go. Realistically the risk is not going to approach 0 for quite some time, and for me at least, my mental health and sense of well-being is also important and part of that is taking care of myself in ways like this (whether that in itself is right or wrong is another topic I suppose) and if done safely, I see no reason not to go if it’s something that you want to do.

    • Reply Gillian May 16, 2020 at 10:02 am

      This! We have to start to balance risk and benefit. The risk of spreading illness vs. the benefits of doing something beneficial for our physical and emotional well being, for our local business owners, for society at large. All these benefits have value that may outweight the small risk of contracting and possible unwittingly spreading CV.

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