In early March of this year, I had a vacation booked to go to Fort Lauderdale with my family. We all cancelled because we thought if we went, we might have trouble returning and would for sure need to quarantine ourselves if we were able to get back as planned. I returned to a world of constantly shifting ground as things were closing to reduce the spread of COVID19. I felt overwhelmed and inundated with information and decisions to make about how I was going to look after my staff and my clients.
I forced myself to review the information I was receiving. I considered my circumstances including things like the fact that I live close to my office. My children are grown and live on their own. It is only myself and my husband who live in my home. My staff travel by car to work. I live in a semi-rural community. Many of my clients are elderly. Some do not have computers at home. Those who do have computers in some cases only have access to dial-up internet or access by satellite service which is less reliable than what is available in urban centres. I determined that we could safely operate out of the office taking into account the safety of myself, my staff and my clients. We purchased and gave face masks to staff. We purchased hand sanitiser for use by staff and clients including enough for everyone to take home or keep in their cars. We purchased cleaning supplies to ensure regular sanitizing of high touch areas. We set up plexiglass around the reception desk and a plexiglass divider with a slot to move documents back and forth for our meeting room table. Our clients have expressed a feeling of comfort and safety being physically present at my office including those who are in their 80s and 90s. Our staff have expressed a feeling of safety and comfort. I developed the policies below and circulate those to clients before meetings if they are existing clients or to new clients who are not familiar with the office. These policies are posted on the door of the office and displayed at the reception desk. I believe it is helpful for clients and for staff.