Discussion #4123

COVID-19 Impact in Rome

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On April 28, 2020, we held a live webinar with Patricia Medros to explore what she has experienced in Rome during the coronavirus pandemic. She tells us how long they have been in lockdown and about the phases of reopening that are starting on May 4, 2020. She also explains some of the hypotheses about the spread of the disease so that we can understand what happened in Italy.

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May 01, 2020
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Welcome everybody. My guest today is Patricia metros from of Rome. As we've seen in the media, what's been happening in Italy is Italy forefront of dealing with a Corona virus. So what we're going to explore is what she's experienced and what she thinks is going to happen, what appears to be happening in her country, and hopefully share some wisdom and some experience with everybody else on the call so that we can be ready for when all these things changes. I got to do a little introduction about you, Patricia. You trained with Ramana, so it makes you a second generation teacher. You are from originally I believe Chicago. Is that right? I remember that right.

You did your training there and then you came to Italy. I went back and came back to Italy again. You run a teacher training school. Uh, you have a mentorship program and it's great that many of your people are on the, on the webinar. Um, most of your clients in Europe, but you also have people in the U S that sound about right. Completely. So how long have you been in your apartment? How long has it locked down? Bingo.

Well, it happened sort of gradually, but our, the entire country was locked down as of March 8th or 10th not exactly sure, let's say March 8th. And the, the stipulations in Italy are a lot more stringent than they are in other places in the world. For example, for example, since March 8th, we cannot leave our residences except for to go to work to grocery shop to go to the pharmacy or the bank or if there's some sort of emergency. So we don't have the free hour to do, to walk or to JAG or just to go outside. We can walk the dog. We have to stay close to our residents. So that means that we've basically been not only locked down but locked in almost for two months. Oh my goodness. Of people being pretty disciplined about staying inside.

Very much so. Even though the stipulations are very stringent, the Italians have been very observant. They have in very compliant, although I have heard about fines being issued, but people on the street jogging and um, no, everybody is quite compliant. But since I haven't been out physically in about two weeks, I haven't seen what's happening on the street. But yes, generally the mood is, but it's abide by the law, the rules, and hopefully we'll get out this sooner together. Yeah. Do you remember when the first case is in Italy where yes. There's a lot of facts involved. Can I, I have some notes here. Yeah, please use them.

[inaudible] thank you. So on January 31st the first case was reported and I think those were Chinese tourists in the North of Italy. And then on February 22nd the new cases would discover it in the North. Again, there were 10 small municipalities. Mmm.

But what happened is the information was delivered to the civil protection service from the regions on a very chaotic basis. So even the civil protection who could have given the whole country information didn't have all the facts. Well, what is the, what does civil protection mean is what's, what's the equivalent in other countries? Yeah. I don't really know how I would call this. Maybe somebody on the chats could let us know.

It's an umbrella organization that, I almost want to say, it's like FEMA, I think it's an umbrella organization that takes care of emergencies. Okay. Disasters. So in the U S might be the federal emergency management. Yes, exactly. Good. So, um, yes. And March 8th, this is, this is how it actually went. On March 8th Lumberton Lumbardi went into lockdown and we got the notification that all party studios must be closed. So that's when I closed on March 10th, the entire nation went not locked down and the military and the police were called to enforce this.

So that was just two days later. So the, um, the cloud of doom was descending on us and we didn't even know it until the sky had completely black in two days. People had two days or one day really to move from wherever they were to get back to their place of residence because that's where you had to stay quarantine and people were scrambling and rushing. Do you think that spread the disease or the people traveling from the North to their homes in other parts or the spread of the disease? There are a few. Um, hypotheses. One I think, which is very particular to Italy, is the intergenerational living practice that we have here. So it's not uncommon for three generations to live in the same flat.

And Italy is about the size of California. It's three quarters of the size of California, but it 25 million more inhabitants. So it's quite a dense population. Things are small. Everything's on a much smaller scale. Houses are smaller. Um, still, um, the streets are smaller, cars are smaller, everything is smaller. So a flat, you could have, Oh, I don't know, a hundred square meter flat, which I don't know what that is in square feet, thousand square feet and have maybe the grandfather and the grandmother, the mother and the father and three kids living all under the same roof.

So if they're elderly parents that the elderly grandparents are living in the same flat is the younger parents and the parents are going out to work and live and they get affected, infected, and they're asymptomatic and they bring the virus back home. The elderly parents get sick. Mm. And the virus spreads. Yeah. So that's, that's one of the hypotheses. Yeah. And yeah. Am I right in thinking that most of the disease ended up being contained in Lombardy up in the Northern region?

Even now, even today, a room. So Italy has, um, 21 regions which are like States. So out of all the regions Lumbardi which is in the North, which is the industrial center, the economic power hub of the peninsula is most effective effected and Lazio, which is the region that Rome is in, has 10% of the cases of Lumbardi. Hmm. So it seems like it's been pretty successful in keeping it in that original region of the country where it started.

Yes, we could say that. [inaudible] fantastic. So w what happens every day? Are you checking in on the news to see new cases and uh, the prime minister is doing a daily talk to the country or no, it's not daily. So I have my regime, I think we all have our morning rituals, uh, our daily rituals. So I listened to the BBC and NPR and I get my news from them. And then if I need to do research, like for this interview, I'll check, uh, the who, and again, the civil protection in Italy and, uh, John's Johns Hopkins, their site is quite informative. Yeah. To get the real nitty gritty, the facts.

But after I check in with NPR and the BBC, I turn the news off. I don't want, I don't want that bombardment. I know what's happening. I'm living it. I don't want to hear about the number of cases and I get that little snippet of news that keep me up to date without bringing me down. Yeah. So I'm not suggesting, you know, we all got to look after our mental health in this, this time. And I, I've had to do the same. I listen, you know, read the papers. I do that once every day and then I have to move out. Okay.

I've got a job to do here. Um, but just kind of like as you've gone through this thing, what are the, yeah. Have you felt you've had this social isolation and how have you kind of let looked after your mental health in this? I've been lucky, John. I've been really lucky because, um, my lifestyle hasn't changed that much from pre virus to post virus or during virus because number one, my home is in my studio and I say it like that. I don't say my studio is in my home because 90% of my flat is studio and 10% is home. So I was used to staying in, working here all day long. The other thing is 90% of my clients are not in Rome.

They're scattered around the world. So I was very used to teaching online for years. Since 2015 I've been teaching online. So that hasn't changed. Um, 10% of my clients chose not to go online. That's 10%. That's nothing.

I didn't try to convince them or anything. I respect their wishes, their desires. I totally understand. It's personal, personal preferences and yeah, for everyone else it's been, life is normal. So looking after my mental health, health has been relatively easy. Um, the only thing I do miss my daily walks, I do miss getting out and I miss my family, miss my family desperately. I have my son lives here with his beautiful wife and they have to, well I'm the grandparent, but they have two magnificent, beautiful kids and I miss them desperately. Really because they're walking distance from me. Yeah. We can't connect. So that is really hard.

And then I have a couple of dear friends in Rome and I miss seeing them. So that's, that's how I've adjusted. It hasn't been much of a transition, luckily. But like I said, I, I have this very fortunate, unusual set up. Yeah. So whereabouts in Rome are you? Is it driving the center?

I am for anybody with Rome. I mean the heart of the heart. I'm around the corner literally from Piatsa Nirvana. [inaudible] is the oblong Piazza with the three Bernini fountains in it. Huge obelisk in the middle. It's very famous.

Cool. You're right in the heart of the sense of that. So you know, as you've kind of watched this thing over the last couple of months, I don't know how many days into the lockdown you are. Is it 40 50 I think 49 yeah. Mmm. You know, as you've seen the data, I think, you know, we were looking at some charts before and you kind of seeing it moving slowly down in terms of deaths and everything else. What do you think that Italy will begin to open up? Well, I know when it's going to begin to open up. So, um, let me just check my notes for one second. Mmm. On April 23rd for the first time, the total of cured patients and patients discharged from hospitals was higher than the number of new infected cases.

So based on these facts and based on the risk factor, the prime minister on juicy, Epic Conti content on Sunday this past Sunday held a press conference and said he laid out the roadmap for how Italy was going to coexist with the virus. And as of Monday, May 4th, we can go out. I know, it's amazing. We can go out. This is cause for fireworks and we can, it is, and we can go, um, we can move around freely with masks keeping social distancing and we can even go see our relatives. So, right. Who's going to be your first visit, your family, I guess. I think everybody on this call knows who my first visit will be.

So there's, there's a bunch of other stuff that's happening on May 4th so this will give you a picture of how the country is moving into phase two. So phase one was the lockdown from March 10th to May 4th and now phase two, we enter on May 4th and this will be the transition into coexisting with the virus. So up into all the stores, everything locked down on March 10th. So as of May 4th not only can we move around, Mmm, we can go to the park again. The entrances will be staggered and there will be police or some other, um, some, some other force making sure that that things don't get out of hand. We can go jogging or something like that and we can do sports outside in the parks.

Now that's this. This is new and big. I have to say that in Italy, the fact of going to mass or going to church was a big deal and all the churches are closed. And it was a huge bone of contention in the government when, if, if mass would be allowed and it's not, so funerals are allowed 15 people, no more masses, Nat, we can now get takeaway. We couldn't get takeaway before I take away is not a big thing in Italy like it is in the United States, but still now it exists and I'm manufacturing, construction, real estate, wholesale trade. This will resume as of Monday. Yeah.

So on the things like manufacturing and construction, which yeah, in Los Angeles or continuing a continued the whole thing. So they stopped during the hello? In Italy? Yeah. Yeah. Everything stopped. Everything. What, what could you do? Could you buy food in a supermarket? So grocery stores, pharmacies, banks, newspaper stands, tobacco shops. Uh, the motorcycle repair shop was open.

So the things of, um, of first necessity for as survival, survival items, those we could get, but everything else other than that with completely shattered. Wow. So does that mean the nature kind of reclaim the city? All the people gone? Not really. Not really. I can only, I know, I can only see out my window, but no, there are more birds. What will nature like Rome is in very green. We have some beautiful parks, huge like central park but bigger and more lush and beautiful. But I'm not close to them. But in the city itself it's not very green.

But what did change? Is there a stars now? At night? Oh and I hadn't seen stairs for three years and it's quiet and Rome is chaotic and bustling and noisy. And it's so I'm enjoying the peace and the quiet. We all are. Yeah. As much the same here in LA, the air quality is better because people aren't driving. The birds are so much, I don't know if I have any louder, but I can hear them.

No, cause I can hear that. I kinda like it. I think I'm going to miss it. But yeah, the pollution and everything in LA is significant. So that's exciting. And, and a little aside, we have to get our, our, um, our beauty where we can with the hair salons, clothes and the nail salons close and everything's close. But this has been great for the skin. This clean air has been really good for the skin, I have to say.

So that's a plus. Cool. Everybody's locked down is a little bit different. I think it's a lot stricter than what's going on here in Los Angeles. I think Italy's was the most severe. I don't know about France, I don't know about other European countries, but Italy is, was so stringent and comprehensive, but it worked. It's working. So on March 22nd there was a peak, uh, cases and deaths.

And as of March 22nd from March 2nd to now, so today is April 28. That's a month. Things have been going down, down, down, down, down, down, down until finally the number of cases of cure cases and lack of deaths. What I said before gave us the permission to move into phase two. And in that regard, I'm very proud of Italy because it's proven that if you do do sheltering in place and social distancing, it works. Now, I don't know what's going to happen after May 4th if people are going to B take too many liberties with our new freedom, our new found freedom. I hope not. Yeah. Then it'll go back up again and then. Mmm. Yeah. So what's that? Stop it and then it goes the other way too much and he come back [inaudible] it's the famous pendulum. We're always trying to find the happy medium, the happy middle. But I don't think the coronavirus is, well, when we get the CA the vaccine, then we can talk about annihilating it.

But it's here to stay and we have to learn how to coexist and prevent any huge flare ups. Yeah. That's got to be tricky. Talk a little bit about phase two. What else can you do and what can't you do during phase two can you open your Pilates studio in phase two? No. [inaudible] so it depends how the plot is. It depends on how your bloody studio is taxed. Classified.

So some are in the tax classification of here, salons and estheticians and those open on June one. Some are in the classifications of gyms and we don't know when those are going to open. So I don't know when I'm going to open, I don't know. But I S I, I'm thinking maybe June, I want to see if I have any, um, let's see. The timeline was, yes. Okay. So on May 18th, the stores will reopen closed doors, jewelers, museums, art shows on May 18th, so that's two weeks after the May 4th in UCA initiation of phase two. On May 18th, team sport members can get together to train, but distances may, may, must be maintained. And on June one, so on June one we have the hair salons, the estheticians and maybe the, some Pilates studios, bars and restaurants. And June one it's only a month away. It's, it just seems miraculous really.

There will be a 50% reduction in the number of tables. So half are going to move out too. Um, respect the space and then looking further ahead. We hope the schools will open in September. Nothing has been established for grammar, middle and elementary schools. And, um, December they're thinking about opening the movie houses in the theaters and by next March, which will be a year from the virus outbreak, this goes in football stadiums, soccer stadiums.

So, but that just, I think it's a, we'll have to see, but it's very planned out and it's drip by drip step-by-step. But if it works, we could produce the model for other countries to follow restorative the Guinea pig. Yeah. I'm sorry that Italy has that role, but yeah, I think everybody is, you know, that's what inspired us to connect with you and talk to you about this is I hope that there's a lot of things that we can learn from Italy because it's, you know, it was impacted by the pandemic much earlier than most places. You know, in the beginning of March, uh, telling doctors and Italian journalists where shouting from the rooftops, alright, world, we're two weeks ahead of you. Why is that? Get with the program and not too many nations got with the program.

Yeah. And so maybe a phase two works and we do prove that that it's the right path to take, then other nations will pay more heat. Yeah. One of the things I've read is that Italy has quite a lot of elderly people or people over 60 is one of the older countries in the world. It's the set. We have the second oldest population in the world. Japan is first Italy, second Germany third. So that's another reason for the number of deaths. So, so the, the reasons are the intergenerational living, the dense population, the percentage of elderly in the population. I have to say the lack of investment in the health structures when, Mmm. The shit hit the fan in the North.

The, the health structures weren't really able to handle it and it was chaos. They don't want, they've been doing a magnificent job, but it could have been more organized. Yeah. And um, that's it. Those are, those are the hypotheses that people have agreed as to why explain why the dance. So would this change on the 4th of May? Yeah. If I wanted to be a tourist and fly into Italy, is that possible? It's not going to happen. That's not going to happen. I don't know when the borders are going to open.

There are some Scandinavian countries where the borders never closed. I think Sweden and Denmark doesn't have open borders. I'm not sure. But Italy [inaudible] completely shut down. Yeah. So if you wanted to catch a train between the North and the South, that's not running yet either. Yeah, we can. So that's the thing. If you have, we can move around on May 4th, we can move around within our region. Well, we can't go region to region or state to state unless it's an emergency.

Right. So if I have to get somewhere, the trains are still running. Yes, of course. There's protocols. So many people for per car. How did you, we can't, we have to maintain the social distancing, but they're running. Yeah. Somebody just put it in the chat or there's one direct flight from the U S thank you Lillian. That's, yes. Yes, there is. Um, there is one flight daily. Alitalia has a flight from America to Rome.

I don't know, maybe New York, I'm not really sure where. Wow, that's a very different experience here. You can read in the newspapers in Los Angeles, one of the counties is orange County and they've left their beaches open. Well, we just had a weekend of incredible heat here for April and so the beaches were packed. It was like a summer day. Oh. There was no way that that was social distancing, you know, it was just the beaches was full of it. So you know, you kind of wonder LA. Yeah. Has had relatively few cases.

Fingers crossed. Yeah. Things like that. Contrive a lot of 'em a lot of infection from person to person. [inaudible] it's very risky. Yeah. Can you tell us a little bit about how you've been doing your online teaching?

You mentioned that you've been doing it for awhile. [inaudible] well, I use zoom and um, I teach privates and I teach group classes to my apprentices. And when, when the, um, when lockdown hit, I actually went into action and I did some things. The first thing that came to my mind was my people need me. That was the first thing that hit my head and I said, I've got to help them.

I've got to do what I can to help to help whomever I can. So lockdown started on March 10th by March 14th I had, I'm free Saturday zoom Gladys classes for everybody on my list, friends, clients, apprentices, anybody. So for one hour and Saturday I give this free class and it's going great and people love it and they not only love moving of course, and they not only love laddies, but they love moving with likeminded souls. It gives a sense of community and connection and social bonding and belonging. And I think that's what we're all missing.

We're missing the human connection. Absolutely. I think quite long. You know, we talked about loneliness earlier. What do you use you, you just use the laptop camera that we're talking to at the moment, right? This is, this is the setup for my lessons. I don't have a mic. I do have a ring lamp for light and I just speak into my map and I have my little screen and it goes like that. So I teach those group lessons with all my lessons that were pre pandemic. I just continuing.

So I'll teach my privates on zoom. And many of those are students or people who have their own equipment. And if my clients don't have their own equipment, furniture becomes Pilates equipment and you can adapt pretty much anything from Ottomans are great Ottomans chairs, benches, chests, coffee tables, stacks of books, bolsters anything. So if somebody came to your studio before, um, um, used a reformer, you found a way to do reform or exercises what? Using household furniture, right?

Or just the mat reform or on the mat is one of the hardest workout that exists, right? So you just adapt the reformer exercises and the cat. Anything that you can, you try to adapt with what you have used. The wall, the wall is fantastic, but there's many ways that you can get creative. One of the other questions here is a client liability. Did you ask them to sign a different waiver when you I started teaching online or did you, were they originally using just a universal one? The liability situation is very different in Italy.

So we have a civil code and in the civil code, yeah, it's sort of, I'm not a lawyer and I don't have the judicial language for this, but it's sort of like there's an automatic liability clause set in the civil code. So we don't use liabilities. A liability waivers in Italy at all. Not in Jim's. Not in plenty of studios, not anywhere. What you do need to do plays or go to a gym is a doctors certificate that gives you permission to do sports, non competitive store sports. So all your clients bring in this doctor's certificate. And once you have that, it's like a liability waiver. Interesting. Very, very different too.

Very different. Yeah. [inaudible] Oh, that's interesting. Um, so what, what, you know, when you're teaching a private, are you moving with the client or are you just watching them and giving direction? I am on them like a Hawk. So no, I'm not moving. I'm not moving. I never demonstrate when I teach.

I've never demonstrated in all these years. I don't demonstrate when I'm teaching, unless it's really drastic and there's no other way. Alright. Bye. Bye. Uh, so I don't demonstrate when I teach online either I do and I have to concentrate on who I'm teaching on the screen to really make sure I can see and correct and adjust and align. And that gives the value of the lesson. That's how we touch online, bye. Our intent, our attention, our full focused attention so we can see what the client is doing and make sure that we can guide them. Yeah. And a couple other things of how I think we touch online.

It's not just with our attention, but it's also with our heart. So we call out their names. If there's a group class, giving everybody personal, um, positive reinforcement and calling people out by name to make a correction. And then we can also with our voice, you can make your voice when I need to buckle up and do it, you can make your voice. Okay. More, um, drill Sergeant and when they need encouragement, encouragement, you can just make it more Zen master. Yeah, I know what you mean. Yeah. It's encouraging and positive and [inaudible]. Cool. Do you find it more exhausting teaching online than in person?

It's more strenuous. It's not more, it's not more tired. Well, it's just more intense because you are focused all your energy in one 12 inch, 13 inch screen. Yeah. Instead of having the vastness of the studio to roam around in and, mm. And you're also, so I'm not moving. I'm standing when I'm teaching, like I'm standing now, but when I'm teaching in the studio, of course I'm running around, moving up and down, jumping up on the Cadillac and jumping down and running around all the time. Yeah. Do you think for some people, some teachers, it's a hard transition from people that were more perhaps around physical cues, you know, hands-on corrections to just going to this verbal cues. Do you think that's a stretch for them people?

I think that could be very difficult. Very, very, because if you're, if you're teaching mute and you're used to just using your hands on touch to guide, if you're particularly talented like that, it's going to be very difficult to make the transition because you have to, I think you have to have another mind. You have to have another mindset to do it mentally. You need both, but to transfer what you're touching into words. I think it will be challenging in the beginning, in the beginning until people get the hang of it and then like anything it becomes second nature. So when, if you had to guess when you think somebody will be back in your studio late summer, is that your thoughts? Yeah, I don't think so. I think early June. Okay. I think early June if it all depends on if the Italians abide by the rules with phase two and they keep their masks on and the social distancing and we follow the rules, then slowly the country will open up for everyone.

So if all goes well, I foresee early June the beaches are open. Yeah, the beaches are open and the mountains are open. You can go for a walk in the mountains or swim in the beach. I don't know how they're going to manage that in the summer. I don't think it's going to be just open beach. The beaches aren't open here anyway. They're all privatized.

They're all, they all have what we call stably mentee. It was very hard for me to get used to this when I moved here because I'm used to the California beaches actually and the wide open spaces and the miles of white sand and to see there would be a restaurant and then associated with the restaurant, chaise lounges on the beach in beautiful lines, all perfectly curated and umbrellas [inaudible] every square inch of the beautiful beaches in Italy or just set up like that. So I think that they'll, they'll have, they'll have a handle on it because of that too. But we can go to the beach to get close to nature. We can't go, if we have a second home in a resort town, we can't go to our second home. Oh, interesting. [inaudible] we have a couple of questions here. Um, how many do you have in your online classes, your group classes?

How many people? The most I've ever had is 35 but the usual, the average is about 25 but then it depends. Um, I had a group class tonight and there were seven, and then I had a group class yesterday and there were 16 so it depends. When do you think there's a limit to how many people you can if you're doing a group class, is there a limit to how many people you can really give attention to? Well, the problem is this. If there's 25 on the screen and you're really paying attention to them, then if you want to get to the other people, you have to move the screen.

So you'd go back and forth with the screens. So that's that. That's takes a lot of, that's a lot of work. Yeah. Yeah. I think there's some point, maybe it's that 25 on a standard zoom screen. That's really all you can focus on and then more than that, you're just, wow, you're on your own a little bit. It's hard at that point. [inaudible] now, have you taken any taken on any new clients during the Corona virus?

Yes. Again, very lucky because in this, I think in the quarantine, Pilates is even more valuable and people understand the value even more and they miss it. So one of my long time clients and friend and actually teachers, she went through my program, she asked her firm, she suggested to her firm that they hire me to give classes to the employees to keep it plays moving as they're working, as they're working from home. And they said yes. So yeah, so I've got two huge, they're actually American firms. I've got two huge American firms now that have come on board and that's very exciting. Great. Um, so talking about pricing, were you able to charge the same as you were charging before even though you're delivering it online?

I never changed my pricing. So most of my clients, well many of my clients will work with me in the studio and online. And there's no difference if you're working with me in the studio or you're working, it's still my time. It's still my expertise. It's still my eyes on you. So, and you're getting the benefit of the lesson. So I've never change the pricing for that ever. But what did happen was on March 16th the on the last weekend of March, I had a huge course scheduled for a group of apprentices who are all supposed to come to Rome from various parts of the world and everybody was looking forward to this and everybody was working hard to do their exams and wrong and do the second course. It was a, it was a very, um, intense time and it was a big deal for everyone.

So at the beginning of March, no, around March 15th when, after we started lockdown, I just, I spoke to everybody, I called a meeting and I said, look, if we can't, if you can't come to Rome, we'll just do it online. So we did the course online, the exams online, the course online, it went great. In fact, some people in the group want me to do this again online. And what I did was I reduced the price, but I reduce the price for the course and the exams. Not really because of the virus, but because I knew and now because it was online now, but because of the virus, because I knew that these are apprentices. They were going to close their studios soon and a couple of weeks after I did. And I thought, Oh no, what are they going to do? I can't add to their burden.

They lost the flight to come to Rome. They lost the hotel. So I, I reduced the price of the course and the lessons Mmm. By 30% temporarily just to get over the, the, the heat wave of it all. So that's, that was the only time I've ever have reduced my prices, but it was because it was only for apprentices, not for clients, because the apprentices, we're put in a very, and I'm in a leaky ship on a rough sea overnight. I liked that. Um, that little description of what happened. Yeah. It's a tough place. Tough place right now. One of the questions firmly sailor, uh, considering the new scenario, the new world we're in, would Patricia encourage any polarities teacher to open a new plotty studio at this time?

My gut instinct it says is yes, we're going to get out of this pandemic. We are, we are. Things are going to, people are going to start moving. They're going to want plays more than ever more than ever. Um, if people have had the chance to work online during this pandemic with Pilates, we are helping them exit the pandemic without back pain and not depressed. So they're going to want Plenty's when this is all over more than ever. I think.

So if you had plans in opening the studio, absolutely. But what I would do is I would make sure that you have at least half your revenue coming in from a different stream, whether that's online courses, online teaching, Mmm. A membership, a membership site, they can't all just be brick and mortar, not anymore. I think that's the lesson that we learned from this brick and mortar is great, but it's not enough. And having said that, maybe online is great, but maybe that's not enough either. Really. In an ideal world you have both. And then wait until virtual reality comes our way. Huh.

And artificial intelligence and then we'll have that too to add to the right. Yeah. Am I philosophic? This Lucila is, you know, it's a little bit hard to know how long this virus is going to go on for. So I think it's a great time to be planning. But when Patricia talks about, you know, phase two is on this date and phase three and so on. It depends on the price not researching again. So I think it really comes down to, I don't know where in the world you are, but you know, what's in your community, where you are in the process. Um, and I think it's interesting to kind of start how small could I start?

Could I have a, the physical studio like Patricia's in her apartment, but I can also do online classes and then my investments not quite so big. You can spend a little bit of money and find out how it's easier cause it's easier to get bigger. It's hard to get out of that five year lease for that big space. So those are my kind of thoughts. We don't really know what the new new, new world is going to be. I think one of the things Patricia mentioned there is I do think there's going to be a bigger acceptance of taking parties virtually with your teacher.

So rather than, yeah, that client disappearing that was used to come in every week and then goes on vacation for two weeks in the summer. Maybe you get to keep that customer through the summer because she will do Pilates with you from, I don't know, Italy or wherever she's gone. Yes. That's actually what my clients do and the other thing is polite is in some we don't eat and sleep just on the weekend. We eat and sleep every day and Pilates is part of our lives.

So we eat, sleep and do Pilates every day and people will want to keep up with that rhythm. I hope. I think that's been my experience. But if you can open in your home, I highly advise it because again, you do keep down the expenses. That's what Joe did. Joe and his eighth Avenue apartment. He had a studio there. And what from what I've heard, the little curtain and there was his living quarters.

My setup was a little different. There's a lot more privacy and distance between the two entities, but I you can start very small. I started with one piece of each one piece of each apparatus. That's it. This question is from Dali. Um, do you find that your clients want to chat after the end of the session?

Okay. So you know how you are when you finish your class right when you finished teaching. So I have always scheduled, teaching is a beautiful profession but it's um, mm, it's, it takes everything out of you. If you're really, really teaching, you have to reset and regroup after, after a lesson to be ready for your next client. So my lessons were always scheduled back to back. There was no space in between because if you do leave space in between that space, we'll just, you won't really use it for you. You may get tied up with the client and you don't want to be rude. So when the hour's done, I just very graciously say thank you very much.

See you next Tuesday and exit stage left. So if they do want to chat, they kind of know they don't have that in with me. What I do do is chat a little bit in the beginning, like first thing I say is how are you doing? Like take a look at them and see how they are doing. But then I ask them and they'll always tell me, they'll say, my neck is killing me or you know, I feel great. Let's go. Or my niece, I just don't know what's going on with my knees. So that takes a couple seconds.

I check in and then if they do start to chat, like they don't really have the opportunity to chat with me, but if, but if they do and um, uh, they start talking about some sort of personal thing, I usually say, you know what, I'd really like to know about that, but can we save it for after the lesson? And then the lesson goes on and by the, by the end of the lesson we forgot about whatever that is. And then having said that, I do have some clients who are really good friends and that's a completely different, completely different, yeah. Uh, my thoughts on this doll is there's a lot of people that are very lonely right now and I think there's a big inclination to want to chat. Mmm. I sometimes think that Pilates teachers, almost therapists for some people. Yeah. Dealing with whatever they have.

You know what, John? I live in Italy. It's a Catholic country. So I've thought of saying, putting outside my door confessional because it's not, because we have a very intimate relationship with our clients. It's very intimate. And so the fact that they want to chat and Mmm. When you said something about like us being therapists, absolutely.

Because they see to how much we care and we are very empathetic and we want them to be in their maximum health. So of course they're going to want to chocolate. You can schedule time for that though. If it's important scheduled time or now with the pandemic when we go back, we're not going to be able to have, I'm not going to be able to have clients back to back. I'm going to have to schedule time for one clan to leave, clean the studio, get it all set up and the other client to come in and maybe I'll schedule a little bit more time to chat. We'll see. Yeah. Yeah.

Have you over the years have resistance from your clients wanting to be taught online? No, I haven't really encountered that resistance. Like I said, only 10% of my clients decided not to go online. I respect their, uh, their, um, decision. [inaudible] that's it. Yeah. So if you're resistant to going online, then you just, you just don't do it. Yeah. What we've seen talking to other folks like Patricia is that for some people there's a technology kind of like, Oh my God, this technology, um, and people have just rung up, use the phone, you know, old school marketing, talk to them and say, well let's see if we can work it out.

Maybe done a 30 minute free session of just helping them understand how to use zoom for instance. Um, for many grandparents, FaceTime has been the tool that they've talked to their children or their grandchildren for a long time. So trying to find a technology that they're comfortable with or familiar and giving away that 30 minute class, well it's really a consultation kind of tech support kind of consultation just to get them to the point where, Oh, actually I can do this because I think most of the resistance is a fear from them internally that they couldn't do that. And I think experiencing the product, good old product testing here, um, product marketing, you know, that kind of thing is really helpful. I like that transition. That's a good question, Kim. Thank you. Hi, this question is from Lena.

Do you watch each participant provide personalized cues? Do I, do I personally cue each participant? Yeah. Yes, absolutely. So if you're saying, you know, those 25 people on your zoom screen, you're saying, yeah, John, you need to very straighten your knee. Uh, Elizabeth, lift your chest, Tony. Um, push your foot back more and it just cool. How do you charge your in your large class? Is it? Mmm. You know, I don't know what it would be in Lira, but so euros, but $15 a session seems to be a pretty common number in the U S we're a group cos online.

Well, my, my um, my big classes, my, my only big class really is my Saturday free class and that's free. And my other zoom group classes, there's a per person fee, but it's more than 15 year old. And then, so that's, so those are two scenarios. And then, um, the third scenario is I just have my hourly fee and whomever wants to come on the, on whoever wants to come on comes on. So those are three scenarios. Um, Michelle's asking, do you prefer zoom or teaching in real life in your studio? That's a good question actually. Um, there are benefits and drawbacks to both.

So with zoom there is, there really is no chatting afterward. You know, that the hour is over and it's much more Mmm. Cut and dried. It's much more black and white, you know, the hours done and you just hit the little button and it's over and you can give a very good lesson online, which we've all discovered in these weeks in the studio. It's a completely different vibe. It's a completely different everything and it's, it's, it's a beautiful sharing and bonding experience when you're teaching in the studio. And it's not just the hands on work, it's not just the ability to do hands on. I think the value of the studio, it's a little bit more than just the hands on or the feedback and the proprioceptive feedback from the equipment and the resistance of the Springs.

It's more than that. I think when you enter somebody's studio, you get a sense of the culture of palladium, of the philosophy of ladies, of the lifestyle. For ladies that may be missing online. That's one thing that may be missing. And you need that experience of walking in the door, taking off your shoes, the ritual that tells you you're entering a sacred space, and it's your time to honor your body. And everybody in that space is there for that reason. So it's, it sets you into the mindset immediately. And that ritual breeds familiarity and routine and predictability.

And that can be very reassuring, especially in a time like this. Yeah, I think it's a different experience. Personally, when I'm in the studio, I'm on the equipment. I have the advantage of, you know, th the tactile queuing if it's necessary. Uh, it's a different experience than doing it online. So, Mmm. I think, you know, the point you made earlier, Patricia, that it's harder work because you're kind of using one set of thanks to stare at that screen. Um, yeah, I think it, I think that's another part of it. So, yeah, I'm a fan of the in person experience. Well, you only have one tool from your toolkit. Well, you have your eyes, your voice, you do have your presence. You're hard of course. But in the studio you have the studio, the studio does such work for you. If you set it up right, it brings you into another world right away.

And that again helps the mind. No, they were going to do something different and it prepares you and then you have the presence of the teacher so that the client can see the benefits of in the movements of the teacher and in the example that the teacher sets. And then the teacher can be the teachers, much more active. So yes. This is Martha's question. Martha is from Greece. Um, how would you suggest the polarities instructors promote online classes? So people that are used to coming to the studio, reach out, reach out, reach out, reach out. So if you were sending a monthly newsletter, send a weekly newsletter, send three weekly, send three emails, text them, use WhatsApp. In Europe, WhatsApp is very popular.

So I would just, I would not be afraid of pestering really. I would reach out and say, Hey, I'm here for you. Let's work something out. And don't be afraid to reach out. Stay in communication, stay close to your people. And it's, there's a difference between pushing and offering. So just make your offer, don't be pushy, but make your office say, look, I'm here. Whatever, however you want to set it up. I'm here for you. We were talking last week with James crater and he was talking about Uplevel your communication.

So if in the class we communicated with somebody maybe with texts, yeah, call them up. You used to call them up and live a personal Hamlet and lesser to communicate even more effectively in this time. No, Arthur, I've just, I already hear these things anecdotally, but getting on the phone with the clients that aren't responding. So a lot of Pilates teachers around the world has been really successful. So I encourage you to go, no real old school. You know, they get on the phone. Um, what happens, you know, the worst kind of happen is, you know, you can just have a deeper relationship and they say it's just not really the right time for me.

But yeah, I do think that there's lots of opportunities to do and you know, people almost happy to have that human interaction. I read something about how telephone surveys that we're getting a much higher response rate or even willing to talk to, uh, you know, those people doing the surveys. But John, can I say something about that? Even if the client doesn't accept your offer Pilates, it shows you care. Yeah.

Yeah. I think it's a great time to reach out and just share whatever you can. Mmm. Just as other parts of Martha's question here, do I believe it's easy to get done? I think that hard part of doing this, what I call telemarketing is overcoming our own fears. I was talking to a Pilates teacher a few weeks ago, so I don't think I can charge the same as I normally charge with my clients. And I talked to her and I said, well, I think you're worth the same as you were before the Corona virus. And I also think that your bills are the same as table.

So I'm encouraging you to do that. So I think that the hard part is inside us. We're not, you know, we didn't choose to get into the Pilates world because we wanted to be salespeople. Yeah. We would have done something else. So, um, yeah, whatever you do to kind of G yourself up. But yeah, I think he should. I think he should reach out more emails, phone texts, however you're going to do it. Do you have anything to add to that, Patricia? I do. Because you believe in Pilates, your place teach you, you believe in it, you know what it's done for you. So if you hold that, this gift of qualities, some people who could potentially be benefiting from it, you're doing them a disservice. So give your gift of Pilates, give it willingly, give it joyously. You know how much it's done for you. And if other people, if other, if everybody did rolling like a ball, there'd be peace in the world.

I love that. My last question for today is from Dolly on your zoom invitation, do you list the props that you'll be using in the class? Absolutely. I send them, like I send out a weekly email and the weekly email has, it's motivational, it's inspirational. I explain how one exercise can benefit you in multiple ways. And then I also in this email, I give them the invitation for the next Saturday's class and in that invite I say, you will need a chair of free wall, a coffee table, a stack of artwork. So whatever they'll need.

So I give them and then I send out booster emails during the week too to say Saturday's class, you need a chair or wall, something to sit on. So I prepare them as best I can, but also when class time comes, be prepared to do a lot of juggling with your clients because you're going to have to help them set up and get the right chair and put it in fiddle with the camera and make sure the view that's once. But once that's over, then the hard part is done. Great. Yeah. I'm a big fan of knowing what it's going to be beforehand. I'm, yeah, I like to be prepared for things. So, yeah, I think it's great idea to send out this is what it's going to be and this is what we're going to work on. People like that. Well, I'm going to respect everybody's time. There's a couple of questions I didn't get to and I apologize to them, but we'll be back online on Thursday this week it's going to be Louise Johns and she is going to talk all about how to set up your studio to film in your studio and to do online streaming. She's gonna. It's going to be very hands on and are you really into the tech and this cable goes in here kind of thing. So, uh, excited to do that.

Patricia, it was wonderful talking to you. Thank you so much. It was my pleasure, honor and privilege. Thank you John and thank you everybody. Thank you, JIA. Thank you. Everybody at place any time. Yeah, Gigi is always behind the scenes. I think I should bring her into this, but she's the PE person who helps run the whole of Pleiades anytime she has that responsibility and she's very much the boss when it comes to all things Pilates, anytime. Thank you, Jerry. Thank you, Patricia. Thanks everybody for joining us. Stay healthy.

Thank you. Thank you. Bye. Bye. Bye.

Comments

Patricia, thank you so much for your insights into running a small home studio, so inspirational.

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