Home > Uncategorized > Getting a Haircut and Reopening School

Getting a Haircut and Reopening School

July 17, 2020

Like many who have quarantined themselves, I allowed my hair to grow at the outset of the pandemic despite the fact that I was due for one in late March. Initially I could not have gotten a haircut even if I wanted one because the salon I go to was closed due to a mandate from the Governor. In mid-May, the salon was allowed to reopen but only if it met certain conditions: customers needed to be six feet apart; the lounge for waiting customers would be closed; customers would have their temperature taken and answer health related questions before entering; every surface in the salon would be thoroughly sanitized; the chairs and surfaces adjoining the chairs where one’s hair was cut needed to be sanitized between customers; and the customers would need to wear masks. The state DID provide the salons with personal protective equipment to use and to offer to customers. Given all the hassles associated with getting my haircut and I decided to wait a few weeks more, assuming the restrictions would lift as the pandemic subsided. Weeks passed and it became clearer and clearer that the pandemic was not going away and clearer and clearer that even though salons were among the more hazardous venues I needed a haircut to shed five months of growth.

When I called for an appointment, the receptionist described their new entry process, asking for my cell phone number so she could text me when there was sufficient space for me to enter the salon. She also described the protocols for customers noting that if I had a temperature or any COVID symptoms I would be turned away. When I entered the salon, it was noticeably austere. The comfortable chairs and welcoming cup of coffee and tray of cookies were gone as were roughly half of the customers. The person who regularly cuts my hair was upbeat and cheerful and I left with a haircut that could last another five months if need be, but it was not the same atmosphere as usual.

I am describing this to offer a comparison to the reopening of a salon to the pending reopening of schools. Unlike the salons, the school openings in New Hampshire are governed by “guidelines” that are locally determined as opposed to strict mandates that are enforced. Unlike the salons, schools are not being provided with PPEs for staff or “customers” and, unlike salons, there is no mandate for limiting the number of people in a confined space or taking the temperatures of those who enter.

Instead of issuing enforceable regulations like he did for salons and restaurants and other businesses that require close contact between people, Governor Sununu has offered “guidance” for the reopening of schools. This is not an accident… for if the state issued a mandate to schools they would have to provide the resources for them to implement that mandate. Better to allow “local control” than to provide the safeguards teachers, students, and parents need for a safe reopening of schools. Live Free or Die was never a more apt slogan for NH.

Watch across the country as schools reopen… I daresay that there will be few regulations put in place and few decisions that are made in Statehouses: the decisions will all be shoved down to the lowest level possible in an effort to avoid funding state-imposed or federally imposed mandates.

%d bloggers like this: