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A Day of Navigating Beauty and Wellness During COVID

I nearly rejoiced when we got word that beauty salons were cleared for opening. My hair had grown 4 inches, which is not a good thing when you have a short, cute pixie cut. It looked like I had a “Beatles” wig on my head.

Unfortunately, the salon that I had been going to was severely damaged during the recent looting in Santa Monica, and had no idea about when they were going to open. So sad. I called a stylist that used to work at the Santa Monica salon and was my stylist for years. She was able to work me in. Yey!

Since this was my real first day out in LA other than picking up groceries, I decided to make several other appointments. First my haircut, then the car wash, then my yearly Botox appointment, then the year-end tax meeting with my accountant, then the final errand was an overdue PAP smear. My physician even sent me a certified letter to make sure I knew it was time for this activity. I figured I better go in, and get it over with. Then, if I had any energy left, I would stop at the grocery store.

I arrived at the hair salon in Venice at 10:00a. I slipped my face mask on, and walked up the stairs to the location. My stylist was cordial. No hugs, no touching. Face mask on. She also wore a full length protective jacket and gloves. Her station was right next to a large window, which I flung open. Right before I sat down in her chair, she wiped everything down with disinfectant, and then put a cover of the chair for extra protection. I felt safe — as safe can be during a global pandemic. It took longer to prepare for the haircut then the haircut was. I really appreciated that, and I walked out 4 inches less of hair on my head. It felt so good!

Next was the car wash. My Botox doctor is located in Encino, so I drove over the hill to the Valley and drove in to a car wash that was close to my doctor. All of the car wash staff wore masks, and safe-distanced. I asked for the deluxe wash and wax with the Baby Powder scent in the interior. I walked over to the cashier’s office and noticed there was a Plexiglas guard in front of her. Good thinking. I paid for the service and sat down outside on a chair. Each chair was 6 feet apart, and everyone was wearing masks. Good job. Again, it felt “safe.”

My Bowtox appointment was next. They made sure that no one else was sitting in the waiting room, other than me. They front desk had a Plexiglas guard separating the receptionist from patients. The masked gal checked me in and asked me to sit on the lobby. She also took my temperature. Soon I was taken back to the procedure area. Both doctor and nurse wore masks. I needed to take mine off, since it blocked the area where the Botox was going to go. The area was disinfected before and after my procedure. No issues here. I moved on to the next errand.

I drove to Woodland Hills to deliver my fiscal year-end tax documents to my accountant that I have been working with for more than 20 years. I’m glad I put my mask on before I got to the office. I talk to my accountant on a weekly basis, but really only see him once a year. So the natural response from him was to give me a great big hug. Not wanting to insult him, I hugged him gingerly and reminded him of the safe distancing rules. I don’t want to repeat what he said. I hurried out of that office, and went from the frying pan to the fire, by heading to Kaiser Permanente in Woodland Hills.

I parked the car in the Kaiser lot. There were signs everywhere to wear a mask. I put one on, and walked towards the hospital and doctor’s offices. They definitely had their shit together. They had a triage area outside the hospital, checking temperatures and other symptoms. The patient population lined up for triage, with red lines designated as the 6-foot mark. I got through rather quickly.

I headed to the doctor’s office to get the PAP smear. Everyone was wearing masks. There was a Plexiglas guard installed at the reception area. Upon check-in, my temperature was taken again. Waiting room chairs were arranged to be 6 feet apart. 2 others were in the waiting room, sitting far away from me. Within a few minutes, I was lead into the doctor’s exam room. I got my temperature taken one more time. The doctor was nice, made me comfortable and the test was complete in 10 minutes; where the Covid prep took about 45 minutes.

It’s been two weeks. I have not experienced any symptoms. I think going out is ok, as long as you and the place you are going to are very prepared. I got through it, but it was weird. The new normal. It’s sad.

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