Today is Wednesday, 23 September 2020. I have received a positive COVID-19 test result. If you were at the Mayfair store on Friday late afternoon (~4pm-7pm), you may have been exposed.
I am the second back-of-house Barrister to test positive. What we both had in common was working in proximity to each other while buttoning up the Oak & Shield. With our general precautions and a bit of luck, I hope we are the only two infected.
Our practice has been to keep all our staff both in masks and distant (>6-feet, generally a lot more) from one another, so even the times when we are present in the same store our chances for cross-contamination within a store are as minimal as we can accomplish. Still, I’ve requested that everyone at Mayfair get tested because that’s the way we roll. Thus far, everyone has either received negative results or is awaiting results.
My likely infection vector was on Thursday, 17 September. I learned of my exposure on Saturday, 19 September. I was tested that day and kept myself largely isolated from that time.
However, I was on the sales floor at Mayfair briefly on Friday afternoon, 18 September – the day before I learned of my exposure. If you were at the Mayfair store from ~4pm-7pm, you may have been exposed to virus from me. There is only one group of customers I really worked with, so if I let your youngster have a couple of Barrister dice because he was being a good example to his adults on how to wear a mask, you are the ones I am most concerned about. Yes, I was in my Badger Shield Plus face mask, but I am nonetheless concerned for everyone.
This is a great time to reflect on our in-store shopping safety protocols – requiring face masks for everyone, limiting the number of people in the store. For that family I am concerned about – I violated our policy on the size of a group. We limit groups to 2-people per group, but I let all 4 of them in. I didn’t know it at the time, but my decision to “be nice” to them actually resulted in increasing their exposure. My repeated reminders to fix their masks instead of sending them out of the store when they couldn’t keep their masks on increased their exposure. Our safety protocols are for our safety and for yours. That infection can occur even with our protocols can serve as a reminder that we should all be doing our part to limit unnecessary gatherings/outings, wear our masks correctly every time we go out, and continue physical distancing in all community settings, even among people we know. Or it can be another “so what” moment where we as a society choose to keep on keepin’ on. We’ve been 6-weeks away from crushing transmission for 6 months, but we choose to take 60% of what is required – just another form of failure. So the costs keep spreading and the virus continues its march.
Over the past few weeks, several Barristers have had family members – siblings, cousins – test positive and/or exhibit symptoms. Now, it is reaching closer. We are seeing direct family members testing positive with symptoms, and now two managers testing positive. I have no symptoms thus far. I hope my compatriot and his family recovers fully and soon.
Again, with luck, this ends here. It is foreseeable that it does not. If needed, we will close a store – or all stores – temporarily as needed for the needs and safety of our staff. If (or more likely, when) this happens, we will attempt to make announcements about any closures and resulting delays in filling orders. It is foreseeable that these announcements will not always be seen at the relevant time by the people who would be affected. I apologize, and trust that you will understand.
Thank you, and be well,