The Sewing Place

Masks in business after the virus is over

Kwaaked

Masks in business after the virus is over
« on: May 13, 2020, 05:01:37 AM »
Something to think about: what are you going to to about the mask when this is over?  I brought this up on another group, but I kind of want a discussion on it, if you are so inclined to humor me.  Sort of like, what did I miss and new thoughts for and against it.

Are you going to keep wearing them working with clients? Toss them as soon as you are able?

I can see pros and cons of it. 

Pro: I can use the whole "protecting" your health aspect through the flu/allergy season.  May be a good angle for bridal.
I won't put pins or other things into my mouth and I'd protect the gown from hitting my face.

Con: Uncomfortable and hot.
Added cost to business as an expense for buying/making (I have a company that will do them in my logo for cheaper then I could make them) and washing.

What am I missing here on either side?

Lachica

Re: Masks in business after the virus is over
« Reply #1 on: May 13, 2020, 09:04:25 AM »
They're uncomfortable at first but we will get used to them I fear. In my first career I often wore mask & gloves, sometimes accessorised with a Hazmat suit. One gets used to it. I've been wearing an N95 with safety glasses for shopping since a few days before lockdown. I felt a bit self conscious then but now most people are wearing masks. I put mine on when I get near our shopping precinct (I walk there) as otherwise I'd run the gauntlet of 2 queues of people, one each side, and loads of others dodging each other. And all breathing. Though lately it's been so windy that any virus particles should be well dispersed. For anyone who thinks masks aren't necessary: ever walked 2m behind someone who's smoking/vaping? If you can smell their exhalation then you're breathing it in.
Mary
2020 stash: not gonna count, not gonna feel guilty.

Renegade Sewist

Re: Masks in business after the virus is over
« Reply #2 on: May 13, 2020, 09:43:09 AM »
Several disclaimers:
  • I'm the customer, not a businessperson.
  • I used to be a businessperson.
  • This isn't going to be "over" any time soon.
  • I was diagnosed with some autoimmune crap in March.
  • I *might* be a direct descendant of Chicken Little.

They're not all hot and uncomfortable. I've been wearing masks for years, mostly the non woven pleated type. The n-95 respirator I have to use the vented type.

Just because sometime soon your local area will allow something resembling "business as usual" it won't actually be "over" and over might never happen. I think we need to look at both short term how to make customers feel safe doing business with us and long term how to maintain a safe level for everyone we work with.

Locally my city has sort of thrown the doors open by rescinding their own orders then immediately adding that they won't be enforcing either county or state guidelines. Bigger city next door rolled back some orders but has made masks on employees and customers mandatory.

For me personally I won't in the foreseeable future be doing business with anyone without a mask or who allows mask less customers. Based on the need for "herd immunity" and the length of time that will likely take to occur if it even can for this I imagine masks will be prevalent for 18 months to two years at the minimum. We need antibodies in 70 to 90% of the population to have sufficient numbers immune to consider this over and the populous to be relatively safe. I was a bit shocked when I read up on "herd immunity" and how it's achieved.

Masks say I care about you and I am willing to endure a mild inconvenience and small expense on your behalf. I personally like that way of thinking. I think a lot of people are embracing that.

Missie

Re: Masks in business after the virus is over
« Reply #3 on: May 13, 2020, 10:18:24 AM »
Several disclaimers:
  • I'm the customer, not a businessperson.
  • I used to be a businessperson.
  • This isn't going to be "over" any time soon.
  • I was diagnosed with some autoimmune crap in March.
  • I *might* be a direct descendant of Chicken Little.

Based on the need for "herd immunity" and the length of time that will likely take to occur if it even can for this I imagine masks will be prevalent for 18 months to two years at the minimum. We need antibodies in 70 to 90% of the population to have sufficient numbers immune to consider this over and the populous to be relatively safe. I was a bit shocked when I read up on "herd immunity" and how it's achieved.

I fear that herd immunity may just be clutching at straws.  Flu is a virus and we have not achieved herd immunity for that, hence the need for annual vaccinations for those at risk, and it mutates so its a different strain each year, with thems thats in the know basically guessing which version will be prevalent in any given year (or at least that is what I read a while ago!)

PS, love the Chicken Little note!
A measly 2.5m of stash used so far!

SewRuthieSews

Re: Masks in business after the virus is over
« Reply #4 on: May 13, 2020, 10:37:27 AM »
I have given in and made a few masks.

I think its going to be more common now to wear them in the UK especially in shops.
I can't get my head round how things like cinemas and restaurants could work.

And I probably need to learn how to do my own brows as its going to be a long time before I can get to the beautician.

Kwaaked

Re: Masks in business after the virus is over
« Reply #5 on: May 13, 2020, 10:39:16 AM »
Thank you @Lachica

@Renegade Sewist my area...well, we always stayed as business as usual, except for a few businesses.

I have several reasons FOR doing it:
My clientele is mostly older people, brides and high school kids.  One group could certainly stand for me to wear them (and I do since I have one of the carriers...a child), but I am also aware that the advertisement of taking pains not to ruin big days is certainly something I can, and would, cash in on as it were.

I smoke, and masks do cover some of that odor (but then most people where I am smoke, so it's not a HUGE issue, but I don't smoke in my shop and I try not to get on top of others because I do).

Until I can get my teeth really fixed, I wear flippers.  Masks cover a multitude of sins, in this case.

Tennessee tries to kill me annually, and I usually sound like I am dying during bridal/prom season due to allergies (the cause of the sound is due to my main reason for not).  I also will lose my voice because of stress, it's 2 in the afternoon or it's Thursday.  (Talking a lot makes it happen more often.)   Masks sort of help the rasping and me losing my voice, but it at least looks like I am trying to not get anyone sick.

I am also sure I can come up with more.

Reasons for not:
I was strangled as a kid and anything covering my mouth and causing me not to breathe easy makes me panic (even oxygen and winter scarves...also a reason the flippers bug the hell out of me).  I can't control this.  I work around it, but I can't control it.  And I can't get used to it.  I cover my reaction pretty well, but I breathe really shallow anyway, so...add a mask and it makes all of that worse.

I am already NOT going to cover even my electric and water for the year.  This happened when bridal season was picking up...and everyone is cancelling for the moment.  Most have put it off until next year.  Same with prom, graduation (HS and 8th grade) and pageant season is not looking good.  I make the bulk of my money between Feb and June, bulk being in March-May.  Adding masks is going to be yet another bill I have to get my husband to pay for (and he doesn't complain and paid for the stuff I am doing to snazz up the joint).  I am aware I can make them, and probably will some, but a supplier has a good deal on custom printed masks...I can get my logo on them for about $1 less then I could make them.  Even if I make them, this is still using supplies I have in store to work and make money...so I lose a chunk either way.  It is much higher if I offer customers disposables...and I would have to have them on hand with the makeup masks which are already one of my highest cost items with no direct remuneration to the business, in effect, doubling the cost of the part of the service I don't get paid directly for.

Some random concerns aside from all of this:

The US has pretty high racial tensions right now.  I do not want anyone to think that I am being racist by not wanting to breathe their air.  On the same token...I also don't want anyone to think I'd be happy to kill them either.  Regardless of my own personal beliefs, those beliefs do not come into my business, and so this is a minefield I am trying to avoid.

How pretentious is it to have my own logo branded mask or one with embellishment?  (Less of a concern, but it crossed my mind.)

I live in an area where most people fall on the side of they over reacted to the virus.  In some ways, masks are seen as a liberal thing and not a necessary thing.  Can this be reasonably worked in without the politics?  Can it be achieved by "Yeah, I got a kid in school and I want to make sure that I am not passing anything along to make sure you aren't exposed to it so that your event (day,whatever) goes along perfectly?" (Or "Tennessee tries to kill this Texan, I just want to make sure I don't take you with me.")  Can I use the weird artsy persona here to sort of get away with it?

I'm sure if I sit and think even more about this, I'll come up with something else.  Mostly, I want to make sure wearing them isn't going to be seen as a political move (my main concern).  I don't allow politics, religion, race, gender or sexuality to enter into my business. 

I live in an area where we have one sewing business using a Christian theme for the business name and several that use Biblical passages in their logo and print material.  Or post signs/flags of who they vote for or controversial ideas they support.  I don't care if you do it, and good on you...but I am also aware there are people that this alienates and I just don't care what you do, and I don't want to be that business.

Kwaaked

Re: Masks in business after the virus is over
« Reply #6 on: May 13, 2020, 10:42:59 AM »
@SewRuthieSews we have maybe a handful of people in stores wear them.  They are not the norm where I am at on the streets.

Businesses...beauty salons are about it.  Anything with personal service is requiring them until at least June so you see them there, and I fall into that category.  Right now, everyone in my shop has to wear one or I can be closed for a Health Code violation.

My question sort of arises with the...after this dies down and before flu season kicks in.

Lachica

Re: Masks in business after the virus is over
« Reply #7 on: May 13, 2020, 11:48:13 AM »
Gosh. Masks as a racist and/or political statement. I thought that was reserved for Hong Kong. I obviously haven't thought this through thoroughly. For your business, I think masks with logo would look professional. Handmade ones wouldn't give the same impression. I'd just tell them it's for your health. Or sell it as not wanting to pass on your sniffles.
Mary
2020 stash: not gonna count, not gonna feel guilty.

Greybird

Re: Masks in business after the virus is over
« Reply #8 on: May 13, 2020, 11:50:12 AM »
I think you should wear it if you think you need or want it and not worry about what anybody thinks. People are getting used to other people wearing masks and probably wouldn't bat an eyelid.

Helen M

Re: Masks in business after the virus is over
« Reply #9 on: May 13, 2020, 12:01:09 PM »
I won't wear one as I'm claustrophobic. If it means I have to live on water so be it!
Stash Busting 2020
Goal: 35 metres
So far: 5 metres

Renegade Sewist

Re: Masks in business after the virus is over
« Reply #10 on: May 13, 2020, 19:58:12 PM »
Quote

My question sort of arises with the...after this dies down and before flu season kicks in.

@Kwaaked all the best evidence I've found and the experts I've listened to say this isn't going to die down before flu season starts. Flu season is from October through April. We usually only hear about it during the peak months.

You have a lot of cultural issues in your area and I can't guide you there. I lived in Houston briefly, Bible Belt, and couldn't get out of there back to liberal California fast enough.

I think probably what you need is the lightest weight mask you can find. I'm claustrophobic to some degree and can't even wear face makeup as I feel like I've got a plastic bag over my head. But the masks I buy from Harbor Freight are not a problem for me and are pretty effective. They have been great for my allergies. That might be good for you depending on the source of your allergies.

Kwaaked

Re: Masks in business after the virus is over
« Reply #11 on: May 13, 2020, 22:18:21 PM »
Thanks, this helped me work out my real concerns on the masks.

My area makes Houston look like California @Renegade Sewist, and yes there is a lot of cultural things here but I grew up with them (I lived all my life in the Bible Belt), so it's just normal.  It is not uncommon to walk into nationwide chain stores and have Christian music on the radio or McDonald's to have a Nativity scene on the window.  They are the background of my every day life, as is other things most of you would never see or think about.  It just is.

I have made conscious decisions in my business most of you would never give a thought to.  From the music I play with clients to to being inclusive to every client that walks through my door to the business organizations I belong to.

As to the masks, my offer for a discount runs until June 4th.  I appreciate ALL your thoughts, and it does help even if it seems like I am not taking what you say in.  I have a couple of weeks to make the decision.


Lachica

Re: Masks in business after the virus is over
« Reply #12 on: May 13, 2020, 22:52:58 PM »
@Kwaaked good for you being inclusive. It takes guts to stick to your principles and sounds like there are an awful lot of issues where you live.
Mary
2020 stash: not gonna count, not gonna feel guilty.