Shaan here, again!
How is everyone doing? Have you read something new? Learned a new talent?
The Government of Alberta has begun re-opening the province. Stage 1 is activated as of May 14. Retail is one of the industries part of this stage.
As you may have read, we previously had said that we were not sure if we were going to be a part of re-opening. Sonia & I discussed this at great length. We have come to the difficult conclusion to stall re-opening our doors. I will be diving into the multiple reasons why we decided this.
My grandma does not live with us. She is in her 80’s and in her own house. We do see her often, to make sure she is ok. If we re-open the store, we are not sure if anyone who comes in (customer, delivery person or random way) has asymptomatic symptoms or currently has a foreign virus. We do not want to endanger her health. If we were to re-open, Sonia or I would not be able to come into the store.
We have been following the daily conferences. We have always noticed the amount of cases that have recovered. However, it is our belief that in order to re-launch, new cases must be in the single digits consistently for at least 2 weeks, before businesses can re-open.
Our store has always taken pride in being clean. We always make sure the counters are cleaned, the bars are scrubbed, the fitting rooms are top notch. However, we have been rationing cleaning supplies at home. Why? Because there is a shortage of them available. How can we maintain that level of cleanliness, when it is so hard to acquire even a small bottle of Lysol?
Speaking of shortages, PPE materials are the most important thing we will need to possess as a society. But, finding masks and gloves are so difficult, you have to wait weeks for them. In order to proper utilize a mask, it can be worn maybe 1 or 2 uses at most. Which means, in a week, 2 staff in the store for 6 days of the week equals a MINIMUM of 12 masks. In a month, that will be about 50 masks. Maintaining that level of units is very difficult. We did hear that there is an answer coming down the wire from the Government of Alberta, but we don’t have much faith in that.
There are so many theories regarding COVID-19. How long does it last on material? This is a question we still do not have an answer for. We have heard that the virus lasts at least 24 hours on fabric. With regards to our online store, if there is a rare chance we get an item back, we are keeping it in a designated area for 72 hours, before adding it back onto the site. To ensure safety. If we re-open, the question of fitting rooms comes into play. Trying on clothes, even if a customer does not have the virus, becomes an item that goes into it’s own isolation for the designated 72 hours. There is certain evidence that UV rays can help sterilize products, which we are looking into as well. We have purchased a UVC sterilizing wand, that we are waiting for to test out.
We also have to look at the safety and health of our staff & customers. We do have a lot of customers who are vulnerable to falling ill easily. We don’t want to unknowingly be the cause of spreading the virus.
We were hoping that the Government of Alberta comes out with clearer guidelines or at least gives us some sort of aid so we can better serve you. We are not putting much hope anymore. Sonia has called ministers on a daily basis, with no response. They keep referring us to the guidelines and sites. The answers are still vague. Each press conference brings up more questions.
For now, we will continue offering our services online & for pickups. I am at the store on weekdays from 9:30 am to noon. I can answer any questions you may have.
We do hope things get better in the coming months, so we can return to some sort of normal.
Until then, stay safe. Stay healthy. We miss you all. A lot.