This week we had our first real 'typical' move since COVID-19 came into our community with it's various constraints. We were prepared with masks, hand sanitizer, discussions with our client, preparations with the mover and more. We knew what we had to do and how we were going to do it.
Then reality hit.
Theory #1- we will wear masks at all time. Reality - masks are hot. We need to take breaks from time to time because the masks tend to be uncomfortable. You can't easily stay hydrated when you are wearing a mask. When the movers are carrying heavy pieces of furniture up flights of stairs, it's hard to keep the masks in place. Actually, it's impossible.
Theory #2 - we be diligent about washing our hands. Every hour or two we will stop, wash and then return to work. Reality - Thank heavens I had to stop to go to the bathroom because I was preoccupied by the mask and the work, I totally lost track of time! Next time, I'll set an alarm.
Theory #3 - social distancing will be practiced at all times. Reality - this didn't work so well. The kitchen was huge with things placed on upper shelves. To safely and effectively get things down, required 2 people. Handing things from one person to another doesn't allow for easy social distancing. Not to mention the movers carrying heavy pieces of furniture is impossible without a second person. It's hard to practice social distancing and move a 200 lb dresser!
Theory #4 - we will ask our clients to not be present during the move process. This worked! Sort of. In order to confirm the placement of the furniture, we used technology and video calls. I'm hoping she likes where things are because we did fully unpack.
It took longer than it usually does to complete the work. The days were long, hot and stressful. Our client was not able to first hand, in person, confirm the furniture placement or even provide input for the set up of her kitchen. I truly hope it meets her expectations. Despite our best efforts, things did not work from a safety perspective as we would have liked. There is no getting around sweaty faces interfering with masks. There is no getting around some of the limitations we are dealing with.
Best practice and theories are good. Unfortunately, we are going to have to work hard to make things safe for the foreseeable future.
I have a great deal of gratitude for my staff and their continued efforts to do the best job possible. We will continue to monitor our temperatures, use the safety gear and try our best to protect ourselves, our co-workers, our clients, their families and the hard working employees of the communities we often work in. Stay safe everyone! Be well.