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Hair salons could become new COVID-19 ‘hot spots’

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When this writer recently looked in the mirror and saw how long his hair had grown while sequestered in isolation the thought occurred about how much of a fearful problem the simple act of getting a haircut in the midst of the pandemic could become by the simple careless use of a hair dryer.

As the hair salon industry begins to reopen all over Canada and the world, the strategies chosen by different salons as to which of the old hair stylist practices, techniques and equipment now are permissible and which are not will require a serious rethink.

Social distancing and PPE (masks, gloves and face-shields) are already commonly recommended protocols but the standard practice of hair blowouts with hand-held or full-head dryers isn’t yet a hard and fast health and medical issue, one way or the other. Some salons have discontinued the use of blow dryers altogether while still others use them, willy-nilly, on their clients.

However, if, through contact tracing, some untoward pandemic infection of a client were to be attributed to a particular hair salon and its specific use of the old style hair dryers the salon’s business could be in jeopardy.

The use or non-use of the old-style hair dryers and processors or more advanced models can’t both be correct safe practices when addressing the realities of the pandemic anymore than can what politicians like President Trump and his Twitter followers do differently than medical hospitals to address the pandemic by ingesting the drug hydroxychloroquine as a mythic cure that may instead lead to their ultimate doom.

While still other Americans rush to yet other absurd myths that the virus can be cured by blasting one’s nose and mouth with the hot air from a hair dryer. This particular myth recently caused many to swarm to social media platforms, like Tik Tok and Twitter, before the New York Times finally called attention to all the madness.

But whether at the level of the local hair salon or some loftier realm of the political national and international arena the same apprehension exists of the dangers of too much potentially lethal hot air now everywhere being dangerously expended. When blow dryers are used in a hair salon either they are or they aren’t potentially blowing COVID-19 germs all over the salon, fuel-injecting them into the lungs of both client and stylist alike, as well as everyone else within range of the potentially lethal air.

The world must get the new realities of the post-COVID world right at whatever level of society, from top to bottom, A to Zed, or what will follow will only get even more ugly perhaps than even what caused the horrific 1918 Flu to spread across the world.

Jerome Irwin

is a freelance writer and author of “The Wild Gentle Ones: A Turtle Island Odyssey” (

), a three-volume account of his travels as a spiritual sojourner, during the 1960’s, 70s & 80s, among Native American & First Nation peoples in North America.

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