Fri, 10 Jul 2020

Blow dryers could become extinct, or not

(Op-ed) Jerome Irwin
29 May 2020, 01:05 GMT+10

When this writer recently looked into the mirror and took a good look at how long his hair had grown while sequestered in isolation since the onset of the pandemic the thought struck him of how much of a huge fearful problem the universality of the simple act of getting a haircut in the midst of the pandemic could become by the simple careless use of an old-fashioned hair dryer in a hair salon and how cataclysmic the impact this simple act could have on the wild spread of the coronavirus.

As the Hair Salon Industry begins to re-open all over Canada and the world, the strategies chosen by progressive, more responsible salons, like Moods Hair Salon in Vancouver, as to which of the old hair stylist practices, techniques and equipment now are permissible and which are not, or what will be the new preferred standard for dealing with the Covid-19 Pandemic when it comes to the use of such old-fashioned instruments as hand-held or hood dryers, color processors and steamers on a client's hair.

Giving a serious rethink to what new steps must be taken in the face of the mounting pandemic, progressive salons, beyond the already commonly recommended protocols of Social Distancing and PPE (Masks, gloves and face-shields), are abandoning the standard practice of hair blowouts with hand-held or hood dryers for health and medical reasons because the Covid virus has the ability to remain alive longer in their internal parts and are difficult if nigh impossible to thoroughly clean while they continue to amplify the virus germs and droplets that fly throughout the salon, affecting clients and stylists alike.

Some salons already have entirely discontinued the use of blow dryers altogether while still others, for whatever reasons, prefer to use them, willy-nilly, on their clients. (See Lauren Valenti's article). Progressive salons instead now are beginning to invest in more expensive, but safer, equipment like infrared, butterfly, climazon or rollerball hair processors that better avoid the dangers of harbouring dangerous viruses. Stylists in these salons also are beginning to self-train themselves to style their clients who, for their own protection, prefer to leave the salon with wet or damp hair.

However, if, through contact tracing. untoward pandemic infections of clients were to be attributed in the future to a particular hair salon and its specific use of the old style hair dryers the entire salon business could be in serious 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. ("The Latest Coronavirus "Cure" Involves a Dryer & Hot Air", MSN Health & Medical, Thatiana Diaz, 2020) 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 political realm, at the national and international level, the same apprehension exists of the constant inherent dangers of too much potentially lethal hot air that now, everywhere in the world, is being dangerously expended.

When blow dryers are used in a hair salon either they are or they aren't potentially blowing super-heated Covid-19 germs, at 197 degrees, 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 same dangers apply throughout the world when too much of the same lethal 'political hot-air' continues to blow down everyone's throats, in every which way, by those like Trump, Bolsanaro, Netanyahu, Putin and their legions of Twitter followers.

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 America and then throughout the world.

The fact that one already can see so many humans coming out of their self-imposed isolation chambers or governmental lockdowns, discounting safe distancing or personal hygiene practices, singing Happy Days Are Here Again or doing Kumbayahs & Group Hugs together, doesn't bode well for the ultimate survival of the human species and suggests how ignorant and careless the herd mentality of too many human beings fundamentally can be, even when it comes down to their own basic survival and that of their loved ones no matter how grievous the danger.

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, 70's & 80's, among Native American & First Nation peoples in North America. It encompasses the Indigenous Spiritual Renaissance & Liberation Movements that emerged throughout North America during the civil rights era. Irwin has authored over the years numerous environmental, political, cultural, spiritual articles with a special focus on Native Americans, First Nations, Australian aboriginals, Israeli, Gazan, Palestinian and Syrian peoples. Irwin also is the publisher of The Wild Gentle Press. He can be contacted at jerome_irwin@yahoo.com

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