So as not to bury the lede, let’s start here: Float is going on hiatus from Thanksgiving, November 26th, through January 15th.
What’s driving this decision? Mainly, Covid numbers in our area are critical, and not showing any signs of leveling off. We saw that Canada experienced a big spike after their Thanksgiving in early October, and there’s every reason to believe we’ll follow suit. But above all else, with case numbers rising out of control, Colin and I can no longer in good conscience expect our staff to continue to leave their houses every day and come to work under these circumstances.
Floating is still a lower-risk activity; nothing has changed there. The people who are most at risk were always our staff, and we molded our safety protocols closely around that fact. But, “when you have so many cases in the community, it is very easy to get infected inadvertently as you go about your daily business,” epidemiologist Ali Khan says in this recent article.
After discussion with the team, both as a group and individually, we collectively came to the difficult decision to put public interactions on hold until we get past the holiday season. We have all experienced losses this year, Covid-related and otherwise, and our mental health has taken a beating. At a certain point, the dissonance between fear for your own safety, and a public face that is happy and friendly and dedicated to great float experiences… this dissonance becomes damaging itself.
Far from an amorphous threat, Covid has touched our group, and this decision is personal for us. One of our staff caught Covid, in March. She was very sick for a long time, and we’ve watched her struggle with lingering residual issues and heart problems. Other staffers have seen family members and friends suffer and die this year. None of us want a repeat.
Above all, Colin and I wanted to provide good jobs in a humane workplace. Current circumstances are making that value impossible to carry out. It’s truly unfortunate that small businesses everywhere are being forced to weigh difficult choices while given very little financial support. As one of our staffers observed, “if money were taken out of the picture, closing would be obvious.”
Why wait until Thanksgiving? We wanted to minimize cancellations and complete as many float commitments as possible. Waiting also gives us time to plan for an orderly close-up over Thanksgiving weekend. We did it in one day when we closed in March, and we would prefer to wind things down a little more gracefully this time.
We look ahead to good news: a Covid vaccine that is effective and could begin distribution as soon as the end of the year. We’ll be asking our elected representatives to prioritize small business relief. I dearly hope things are much improved come mid-January.
In the meantime, we’ll still be here. Follow us on social media; we still have things to say about floating, because stress isn’t going anywhere and floating is great for it. If you have questions, let us know; after Thanksgiving our response times might be slower, but you’ll get one. As before, our members will get double float credits for continuing their memberships through reopening.
If you would like to support us? Our Winter Sale kicks off as usual on Thanksgiving and runs through New Year’s Eve. You can buy gift certificates online 24/7 without ever having to change your soft clothes. Or, take a moment and tell your friends how much you love floating. Word of mouth is the best, and we always appreciate that.