Moving Forward with Delta
Updated: Sep 21, 2021
Kia ora koutou folks.
Thank you to all of you who took the time to answer the two question survey. I had hoped I would be able to form a policy regarding vaccination, but with only a 54% response rate, I feel I am not in a position to do that.
The results thus far, however, were really interesting.
The responses suggested that just over 60% of our regular practitioners would prefer that 'our people' have at least one vaccination to be able to come to class. And nearly 70% of you are happy to trust each other in regards to vaccination status.
I'm now faced with the tricky decision about whether to even form a policy, since the number of respondents is not sufficient to truly represent the wishes of our yoga community.
My priority is to do my best to offer you a space to practice where you feel safe physically, mentally, and emotionally. And unfortunately it's going to be a case of 'you can't please all of the people all of the time'.
I've taken advice from ExerciseNZ, as well as other teachers, and the government recommendations. My decision has not been made lightly. I've lost sleep over this one.
Temporary Policy (Level 1)
During Level 2, the requirement to provide 2 metre spacing during class means it is not practical for us to have in-person classes. Aside from the need to halve capacity (at least), it is physically impossible to provide that separation for off-mat movement around the shala, entry and exit of the building, bathroom access etc. So, as previously indicated, we will not have in-person classes until we reach Level 1.
While we have no cases in our region during Level 1, the following protocols will be in place:
If you, or someone you have physical contact with, has been in Auckland (or some other hot spot), please refrain from coming to class for a two week period.
If you, or someone you have physical contact with, is unwell, please do not come to class.
Upon arrival to class, please scan the COVID-19 bar code. Some of you keep a mini version in your cars, but I'll also stick one to the entry door, as well as one where your ten trip cards are kept.
Before entering the room, please sanitise your hands using the bottle which will be located at the door.
It is your choice whether or not to wear a mask as you enter or exit the shala. My thinking is that we're all going to be in the same space anyway, so it's probably not necessary to make that a policy. Don't feel uncomfortable if you do choose to wear a mask though okay? That's an order!
In the same vein, I need to consider airflow. Fortunately, the weather is warming up. The advice I've received is to avoid using fans, for obvious reasons. So on warm days, all the doors will be open. I won't leave the hallway door open because it will create a draught, defeating the purpose.
After class, unless you're using your own mat (or mat cover), please sanitise the mat and block you used. This ensures a clean slate for the next person. I will provide mat spray and cloths (which will be washed after each class).
Obviously, our region won't get to Level 1 until the government decides to drop Auckland's level. And they'll only do that if they feel spread of the virus is contained. That gives me confidence that the risk of infection in our region will be at a very low level. I hope I'm right.
As an example of the decisions I'm making, my mother-in-law is currently in Auckland as she has an eye treatment there each month. Greg told me last night that his sister (who she's staying with) might bring her home and come visit us. She'd obviously have to have a negative test result to be able to travel out of Auckland. I have decided that if he wants to see them, he'll have to go to Whanganui and stay with his Mum, and have a negative test before he comes home.
I would be a hypocrite if I allowed them to visit us, then teach you all in person without taking a two week isolation break. I want you to all to have confidence that I will practice what I preach. And that includes contact with my precious daughter Alex who resides in Auckland.
For some of you, the stance I've taken might result in a sense of anxiety. That's understandable. And you may choose not to come to class.
Let me know if you're struggling with my decision to create a temporary policy and all that it entails. There are too many factors I've considered to write them all down, but perhaps a phone call might help you feel a greater sense of confidence.
I invested in a Vimeo subscription with the intention of getting off my bum and recording classes for you all to use at home. Well, you'll be aware that I haven't done that. Why? Because I too am suffering 'lockdown lethargy'.
I endeavour to have at least ten minutes of practice when I wake up each day, but any more than that seems unsurmountable. Oh my gosh, I'm going to physically feel it when we're back on our mats.
I'm giving myself a mental break though. Let's face it, we're all in the same boat. We don't have to bake bread, start a new hobby, be productive. These are unusual and trying times that challenge the mental health of most of us.
So I've decided that if I'm still wearing my dressing gown at 3pm, the world won't end. At least I know I won't have any surprise visitors catching me out.
I've decided that Netflix binge-watching is a perfectly acceptable alternative to educational reading.
I do, however, need to make myself a star chart for going for a walk. Even if it's just to the letterbox.
By the way, I've just started buying sourdough (contactless delivery) from one of our student's daughter. Check out Tironui Sourdough if you want to have the most delicious bread delivered to your door. I now have another addiction!
Going forward, once we reunite in Level 1, we will need to have a high level of trust in our yoga community.
I believe our people have proven, in the past, that they respect the health and wellbeing of fellow practitioners. People cancel class bookings if they get the sniffles, have unwell whānau, have visitors from high risk places. They do this to not only protect each other's physical health, but also to minimise anxiety. It's something I appreciate very much.
Our people have proven that we can trust each other. We are a community of caring, sensible, honest people. I feel so fortunate to be part of that.
Our Yoga Kāpiti needs to be a safe place, for all of us.
Ngā mihi nui
p.s. I've had some really useful feedback in the survey which I will consider for when we're back on our mats. Thank you.