During The Pilates Report webinars I have frequently been asked when I think that Pilates Studios will reopen. The simple answer is I do not know! Each community is unique and we have already seen that community leaders have chosen to make different decisions.
These are the themes I have observed as I talk to Pilates Professionals from all over the world.
Community leaders are asking themselves six questions to determine when to re-open their communities.
Many officials see the re-opening of their communities happening in multiple phases. The following is based on California's plans and is similar to other regions.
Most of the world is presently in this phase. Government and private organizations are working to make it safer for essential workers, like grocery store employees or nurses.
During this phase, investments are made in creating testing capability, increasing hospital capacity, providing essential workers with protective equipment and creating more robust monitoring systems.
Lower infection risk businesses and public spaces can reopen provided they make modifications to allow for distancing. These include workplaces like factories, with more spaced-out workstations or non-grocery retail stores, but with curbside pickup. Schools and childcare facilities would also be reopened during this phase.
During this time investments continue to be made as they are during Phase 1 while carefully monitoring the impact of the virus. If the virus is seen to be spreading then the community returns to Phase 1 (shelter in place). If the virus activity continues to decline then the community moves to Phase 3.
Higher infection risk businesses will be able to reopen with modifications. This includes nail and hair salons, gyms, movie theaters, and sports without live audiences, as well as in-person religious services.
This phase comes to an end when either the virus activity is minimal or therapeutics have been created that either help patients recover or vaccinate them against the virus.
All stay-at-home orders are lifted. This will be when concerts, conventions, and sports with a live crowd will be allowed to reopen.
In all communities, if the virus activity increases the community plans to return to the prior phase.
Nobody knows! Phase 1 seems to be lasting somewhere around the 3 months and it is shorter if the shelter in place is more restrictive and was imposed when there were fewer infections.
Many experts have predicted that it could be the second half of 2021 before a vaccine is available. This will indicate the ability to start Phase 4.
If they have been modified to minimize infection, they will probably be allowed to open during Phase 2. What are the modifications that will be needed by local governments? This will vary, but some of the changes expected are increased spacing between clients while performing Pilates, more rigorous cleaning protocols, and less congregation of clients through schedule changes.
It all depends on the client. If you are an older client with a compromised immune system it probably makes sense to wait until a vaccine is available. If you are young and healthy and you feel confident that you have the antibodies that will keep the virus away you might return as soon as the studio opens.
What are your thoughts? Please add them in the comments below.