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It’s Not About Me, It’s About You. How Vanity Can Be Risky As We Face COVID-19

By Carol Levine, Co-Founder & CEO
its-not-about-me-its-about-you

Let the truth now be known. I am not a natural blond. When an inch of grey emerges, it gets covered as quickly as possible, and I am far from being alone in doing it what it takes to hide the evidence.

This week, as the prospect of being found out became obvious, I started thinking about how I could safely get this done before cocooning at home and preparing for the corona virus to take hold in our country.

Over this past week I was careful how I managed in public places, and reasonable in preparing for a potential lock down. Yes, I bought toilet paper, but only enough for a few weeks. I made sure that there was enough food, and last week was fortunate in scoring a supply of sanitizers.

On Thursday, our company made the decision to have all employees work from home as of this Monday and set out directives about travel and face to face meetings. Late that evening we sent out emails to clients, partners and vendors on the steps we are taking to protect everyone as much as we possibly can.

All the while, I stayed glued to the media in all its forms to make sure I had access to credible and accurate medical information.

Back to the hair. With a good command of health information and my own safety precautions in place, I felt confident that I could get the colour done quickly and without unnecessary risk to me or others. Being a bit neurotic, I parked my car outdoors to avoid a valet handling my keys, brought a thermos of coffee and decided to forego the final touches of a blow-dry by bringing my own equipment to dry my hair quickly and get out of dodge. I also came with wipes and latex gloves, just in case.

I was impressed with a sign on the front door of the shopping mall stating that anyone who traveled within the last 30 days and who had a fever or other symptoms should not enter. At the hair salon, my colourist kept her clients 6 feet apart and she sprayed and wiped down the arms of the chair with disinfectant. I cleaned the counter with my own supplies, and we were off to the races.

It was then that I realized that no matter what I was doing in the interest of personal and public safety, I could only control me and not you. I encountered plenty of YOUs who carried on seemingly oblivious, selfish, unconvinced or plain arrogant. You are the greatest threat to our communal safety. You, the ladies in the washroom who didn’t think to use a paper towel on the toilet handle, or to open the stall door or the faucet. You who poured coffee from the complimentary pot. You who moved into to my sanitized seat when I got up to stretch my legs even as you saw it being wiped down. And you who came back from a trip down south and couldn’t wait 14 days to get your hair done or to punch in your PIN on the ATM without a Kleenex.

Flattening the curve and minimizing the spread of this deadly virus is not something one person can accomplish alone. The simplest action or inaction will impact others – for me, if it means a couple of inches of grey, then so be it.

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