LAST UPDATE: October 14, 2020.
Playfully Grownup home has been closed for business. Thank you for your interest and support; I wish you all the best!
This page outlines the coronavirus processes and response for Playfully Grownup Home. It has four sections: Basic Background Information; How I Work; How I Process an Order; and How I Decide When to Keep My Etsy Shop Open.
Basic Background Information
I am a sole proprietor. That means that I am the owner and operator; there are no other employees besides myself.
I work from my home. I have a dedicated workspace (including a washroom) that is not regularly used by other people and only rarely visited by non-family members (e.g. when I need maintenance or repair help). I clean my workspace regularly (including a daily airing).
I am in the risk group, i.e., I have chronic conditions that may increase the chance of a severe case of covid-19. Furthermore, because of my multiple allergies and asthma (and because I happen to deeply dislike nasal discharges), I’ve already had to train myself to 1) be aware of my symptoms, 2) track my symptoms, 3) take care of myself, 4) be aware of and avoid touching my face, 5) cover my sneezes with a sleeve or hankie (not my hands) and 6) wash or disinfect my hands after sneezing or touching my nose / mouth.
It turns out that all of my difficulties with allergies and asthma were excellent training for covid-19 safety procedures! I routinely already took many of the recommended hygiene precautions before the outbreak, for example always washing my hands with soap and water after coming home and before starting work. I will pay even more attention to them during the pandemic.
How I Work
Before starting a new project (gathering materials and tools, selecting fabric, cutting or sewing) I always wash my hands.
If I happen to touch my face while working, I immediately stop and go wash my hands. If I need to leave my workspace in the middle of working, I always wash my hands before returning to work.
All of my finished products, fabrics and materials are stored under cover, i.e., inside a closet or in boxes. This protects them not only from dust but any other airborne particles.
I also actively monitor the cleanliness of my workspace between the regular cleanings. After reopening, I will keep track of cleaning and disinfecting my workspace.
How I Process an Order
Before starting to process a new order, I always wash my hands.
If I happen to touch my face while processing an order, I immediately stop and go wash my hands. If I need to leave my workspace in the middle of processing an order, I always wash my hands before returning to work.
During the pandemic, I will disinfect my packing table before gathering materials, tools and the order, and wear a face covering during the processing of an order. If necessary, I will group orders into batches to take them to the post office in order to minimize my exposure; I regret that this might delay your order by 2-3 business days.
Please also note: After I drop off an order at the post office and provide a tracking number through the Etsy interface, delivery times are out of my hands. I cannot affect delivery times after a package leaves my house. All inquiries should be directed to the USPS.
How I Decide When to Keep My Etsy Shop Open
During the pandemic, as at other times, I follow Massachusetts laws and regulations. At the moment, they include among other things maintaining good hygiene, keeping a safe physical distance when outside and wearing a mask during errands when keeping a safe distance is not possible.
Like I said above, I’ve already routinely taken many hygiene precautions due to my chronic conditions before the outbreak, and I will continue to behave safely, as much as I humanly can.
However, I recognize it can be very tough distinguishing allergy symptoms from possible covid-19 infection because some symptoms of cold / flu, seasonal allergies, asthma and covid-19 coincide.
I have therefore decided to err on the side of caution during the pandemic. Only if I have strong reason to think my symptoms are due to allergies or asthma (for example, a sniffly nose with itchy eyes), will I keep my shop open and use the precautions outlined above to process any orders.
However, I will temporarily close my Etsy shop during times I’m exhibiting symptoms that I cannot reasonably attribute to allergies or asthma. I just do not want to risk my customers’ or the post office workers’ health for what in all honesty I realize is non-essential shopping.