The Cut: What’s It Like to Work Out in a Gym Right Now?

The Cut: What’s It Like to Work Out in a Gym Right Now?

Photo-Illustration: by Stevie Remsberg; Photos: Getty Images
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While public-health experts have changed their assessments about the transmission of coronavirus at a dizzying pace, there are a few factors that have stuck around as consistent high risks: (1) tightly-packed, (2) indoor spaces, with (3) circulated air that’s filled with the miasma of (4) people breathing hard. And if you alchemize these four high-risk factors, you get the gym, where people inhale each other’s exhales energetically.
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But starting last month, gyms began reopening across the land. The plans for gyms are as scattershot, obscurely “phase-oriented,” and geographically uneven as the plans have been for every other category of American life. In Utah, gyms opened in early May. In Texas, gyms opened in mid-May at 25 percent capacity and expanded capacity to 50 percent in early June. In Florida, gyms opened at half-capacity in mid-May, but the city of Miami held off until early June..
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As Connecticut entered phase two on June 17, gyms were given two options: Either members had to be kept 12 feet apart, or masks were required and everyone had to stay six feet apart. Gyms in Chicago open today (Friday, June 26) at half-capacity, though some gyms have been allowed to host outdoor classes since earlier this month. Gyms in Los Angeles opened the second week of June. Gyms in New York, however, won’t be opening for a while, even as the state moves into phase four.

To further complicate things, each individual gym institutes its own rules (or lack thereof), while still complying with state or city regulations. As far as I can tell from doctors and infectious-disease experts, the best practices for going to the gym if you must is to trust no one. Ensure that your facility has established generous barriers for social distances, like blocking off every few machines, or that your gym limits the number of attendees. Doctors note that some gym wipes won’t have strong enough disinfectant, so bring your own for any machines or equipment you use — and wait several seconds for the spray to sink in. For gear that’s especially tricky to clean (like kettlebells) bring ’em, if you’ve got ’em.

Regardless, people are back to sweating it out in public spaces. Here are ten dispatches from open gyms across the U.S. from Los Angeles to Atlanta; Portland, Maine, to Stratford, Connecticut.

“You can only workout inside with a $15 chaperone who wipes all the equipment when you’re done and makes sure you stay socially distant.”

I think my gym is one of the first to open in Chicago and may be the model gym for the city. Inside is super sparse and super clean. The classes outside are just picking up and maxing out at ten. People have to wear masks to walk through the gym but once they get to their workout area they can remove them. You can only workout inside for personal training or with a $15 [per hour] chaperone who wipes all the equipment when you’re done and makes sure you stay socially distant.
— Melissa, an instructor at Lakeshore Sport and Fitness, in Chicago, Illinois

“It’s honestly been busier than the first week of January.”

I couldn’t wait to go back to the gym. I love my abs and they almost packed their things and left during COVID. My LA Fitness is doing a really great job of sanitizing and offering sanitizer to all gymgoers. But it is PACKED. It’s honestly been busier than the first week of January. [Another gym chain] didn’t reopen its doors so we had an influx of sign-ups. I think with not all gyms being open, it’s causing ours to be much more crowded. There’s no limit [to the number of people allowed in the gym] as far as I know. People are ecstatic to be able to get their grind on again. Every time I’ve walked in, I instantly hear that viral spring breaker from Florida in my head going “if I get corona, I get corona” but that’s basically how it seems everyone feels.
— Gina, a group fitness instructor at LA Fitness in Orlando, Florida

“It’s a ghost town here.”

We have been open three days so far and it’s pretty dead here. No one wants to come back because everyone is still scared and apprehensive. Overall it’s a ghost town here. The few members who have come in seem happy and excited to be back. A rough estimate would be 20 per day. Everyone has been wearing masks and not causing a fuss. Our community is more understanding and caring of each other, compared to big box gyms. We even have some [masks] on hand if people forget to bring one. We encourage people to work out [on the gym’s patio space] outside. We cleaned all our air filters and have multiple air purifiers as well. We blast the AC and fans too. We don’t have any windows, just the front doors stay open.
— Dee, an assistant manager at Everybody Gym in Los Angeles, California

“All employees must wear a mask, but not clients.”

As soon as you check into the gym they will take your temperature and you put hand sanitizer on. People are taking the necessary precautions that they should’ve been taking before COVID-19. We also have keyless entry, you download the gym mobile app and we will scan your membership barcode through the app. It’s not as full as it used to be but it is gradually increasing. They do have a limit on how many can be in the class and in the gym. They just started the group classes. We don’t allow people to use the yoga mats that are provided at the gym, they must bring their own yoga mats. All employees must wear a mask, but not clients. A lot of people hate the masks. I don’t like them. It gets hot and gets hard to breathe if you are working out.— Tassia, a trainer at LA Fitness in Atlanta, Georgia

“There’s a hands-free scanner so it doesn’t require an employee to get close to take your temperature.”

Equinox has lots of reminders to keep physical distance and hand sanitizers everywhere. There’s a hands-free scanner [a touchless thermometer] connected to a tablet — it looks similar to a souped up iPad — so it doesn’t require an employee to get close to take your temperature. All employees are wearing masks. Members must wear them unless they’re actively working out, which makes sense, given that I get winded wearing a mask to go grocery shopping.
— Paul, a gymgoer at Equinox in Dallas, Texas

“There was an incident last week in which a woman was refusing to put on a mask.”

I also am an essential health-care worker, so I have had to take precautions this entire time and am quite used to spraying things down and cleaning my hands often! There was an incident last week in which a woman was refusing to put on a mask. The other patrons have been encouraged to speak up if they see something like that, or if someone appears sick. Management went and spoke with this woman and after a five-minute conversation they were able to get her to put a mask on. Our gym is pretty unique in that, although it’s busy, we all know one another quite well and look out for one another. That’s why I feel comfortable going there, even though the risk of COVID is still quite high.
— Emily, a gymgoer at the Edge Gym in Stratford, Connecticut

“[My gym] invested over $250,000 in new kinds of cleaning technology such as UV radiation.”

I work at a gym in Chicago teaching outdoor group fitness on the roof. I’m very strict about enforcing the rules and making sure people wear masks and stay at a distance. The rule of thumb is you must maintain social distance if unmasked. [My gym] invested over $250,000 in new kinds of cleaning technology such as UV radiation [disinfecting stations similar to what hospitals use]. Our classes have a ten person capacity and everyone must be spaced ten feet apart. The classes are selling out. It seems like people are excited to get back to the gym. But many of our members have left Chicago and are sheltering in various corners of the country or world with family or in second homes. I think they’re planning to come back but they don’t seem to be in any rush.
— Mikhaila, a group fitness teacher at Lakeshore Sport and Fitness, in Chicago

“It was like the first day of school.”

I’ve been going to two Equinox gyms in Miami since they reopened on June 8. I was there day one! It was like the first day of school. They sent out a long list of safety measures ahead of time, so I knew what to expect: Temperature check upon arrival and mask wearing when not working out. Once people are working out, probably less than 10 percent of people still wear masks. The rest, me included, tuck them away. [There’s] hand sanitizer and wipes throughout the club. Showers and lockers off limits. Amenities like towels and moisturizer are gone. Equipment is more spaced out. You need to reserve a workout time on the app. So far, I’ve had no problem getting a time I want. There are a fair number of people during the p.m. rush, but it’s definitely not crowded. I know they cut the capacity for each class. The mood is pretty positive. I’m guessing those that are nervous are staying home.
— Wayne, a gymgoer who attends two Equinoxes in Miami, Florida

“Some of it does feel performative.”

They lost a lot of people during the lockdown, but since restrictions have lifted I see a lot of new members and prior members coming back. Our gym is currently limiting class size to thirteen, most classes have been sold out and membership appears to be consistent to what it was prior to lockdown. The owner has sanitizer stations set up, equipment that sanitizes the floor after each class, and has taped off boxes on the floor [that show you] to stay in your own workout space. Everyone cleans equipment after each use. It’s as safe as can possibly be. Some of it does feel performative and it’s hard to know if we are doing the right thing, but the gym is going far and beyond to keep the space clean.
— Kelsey, a gymgoer in Portland, Maine

“People definitely are more appreciative of every moment spent in the gym.”

The mood is calm. Nobody is anxious, as the gym is a place where you get rid of stress and anxiety. As everybody knows, Miami is a city where everybody works out and puts emphasis on physical appearance. The space is very well-ventilated, even a little bit colder than usual. They opened on Monday, and Wednesday I was there already. I have a personal trainer that wears a mask constantly. We always wear masks, except the moment when I have to do some cardio. We disinfect every area before and after using it. Everybody is cautious and aware of the social distancing. People definitely are more appreciative of every moment spent in the gym. I think personally, I am more focused on my workout than ever.
— Gabrina, a gymgoer at Equinox in Miami, Florida

Hot Bod is a weekly exploration of fitness culture and its adjacent oddities.

Interviews have been condensed and edited for clarity, and some names have been changed. 

Hairbrained Official: In a post coronavirus world…

Hairbrained Official: In a post coronavirus world…

…will we see this type of basin become increasingly more popular?

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Let’s Go North: How to Hug During a Pandemic

Let’s Go North: How to Hug During a Pandemic

Illustrations by Eleni Kalorkoti

Of the many things we miss from our pre-pandemic lives, hugging may top the list. We asked scientists who study airborne viruses to teach us the safest way to hug.

A Canadian woman was so desperate to hug her mother during quarantine that she created a “hug glove” using a clear tarp with sleeves so the women could hug through the plastic. A video of two young cousins in Kentucky hugging and weeping after weeks apart in quarantine was shared thousands of times.

“We did not expect for them to react the way they did,” said Amber Collins, who recorded the reunion of her 8-year-old son, Huckston, with his cousin Rosalind Arnett, age 10. “They were so overjoyed they didn’t know how to express themselves, except to cry. This hug shows how powerful the human touch truly is.”

Not only do we miss hugs, we need them. Physical affection reduces stress by calming our sympathetic nervous system, which during times of worry releases damaging stress hormones into our bodies. In one series of studies, just holding hands with a loved one reduced the distress of an electric shock.

“Humans have brain pathways that are specifically dedicated to detecting affectionate touch,” says Johannes Eichstaedt, a computational social scientist and psychology professor at Stanford University. “Affectionate touch is how our biological systems communicate to one another that we are safe, that we are loved, and that we are not alone.”

To learn the safest way to hug during a viral outbreak, I asked Linsey Marr, an aerosol scientist at Virginia Tech and one of the world’s leading experts on airborne disease transmission, about the risk of viral exposure during a hug. Based on mathematical models from a Hong Kong study that shows how respiratory viruses travel during close contact, Dr. Marr calculated that the risk of exposure during a brief hug can be surprisingly low — even if you hugged a person who didn’t know they were infected and happened to cough.

Here’s why. We don’t know the exact dose required for the new coronavirus to make you sick, but estimates range from 200 to 1,000 copies of the virus. An average cough might carry anywhere from 5,000 to 10,000 viruses, but most of the splatter lands on the ground or nearby surfaces. When people are in close contact, typically only about 2 percent of the liquid in the cough — or about 100 to 200 viruses — would be inhaled by or splashed on a person nearby. But only 1 percent of those stray particles — just one or two viruses — actually will be infectious.

“We don’t know how many infectious viruses it takes to make you sick — probably more than one,” said Dr. Marr. “If you don’t talk or cough while hugging, the risk should be very low.”

There’s tremendous variability in how much virus a person sheds, so the safest thing is to avoid hugs. But if you need a hug, take precautions. Wear a mask. Hug outdoors. Try to avoid touching the other person’s body or clothes with your face and your mask. Don’t hug someone who is coughing or has other symptoms.

And remember that some hugs are riskier than others. Point your faces in opposite directions — the position of your face matters most. Don’t talk or cough while you’re hugging. And do it quickly. Approach each other and briefly embrace. When you are done, don’t linger. Back away quickly so you don’t breathe into each other’s faces. Wash your hands afterward.

And try not to cry. Tears and runny noses increase risk for coming into contact with more fluids that contain the virus.

While some of the precautions may sound like a lot of effort for a simple hug, people need options given that the pandemic will be with us for a while, said Julia Marcus, an infectious disease epidemiologist and assistant professor at Harvard Medical School.

“There’s a real challenge right now for older people who worry that they won’t be able to touch or connect with family for the rest of their lives,” said Dr. Marcus. “Keeping hugs brief is particularly important because the risk of transmission increases with more prolonged contact.”

Here are the Dos and Don’ts of hugging, based on the advice of Dr. Marr and other experts.

 

“This position is higher risk because the faces are so close together,” said Dr. Marr. “When the shorter person looks up, their exhaled breath, because of its warmth and buoyancy, travels up into the taller person’s breathing zone. If the taller person is looking down, there is opportunity for the huggers’ exhaled and inhaled breaths to mingle.”


This position, with both huggers looking in the same direction, also is higher risk because each person’s exhaled breath is in the other person’s breathing zone.


For a safe, full-body hug, turn your faces in opposite directions, which prevents you from directly breathing each other’s exhaled particles. Wear a mask.


Hugging at knee or waist level lowers risk for direct exposure to droplets and aerosols because faces are far apart. There is potential for the child’s face and mask to contaminate the adult’s clothing. So you might consider changing clothes, and wash your hands after a visit that includes hugs. The adult also should look away so as not to breathe down on the child.


In this scenario, the grandparent is minimally exposed to the child’s exhaled breath. The child could be exposed to the taller person’s breath, so kiss through a mask.


Julian Tang, a virologist and associate professor at the University of Leicester in England who studies how respiratory viruses travel through the air, said he would add one more precaution to a pandemic hug: Hold your breath.

“Most hugs last less than 10 seconds, so people should be able to manage this,” Dr. Tang said. “Then back away to at least two meter separation before talking again to allow them to catch their breath at a safe distance. Holding your breath stops you exhaling any virus into their breathing zone, if you are unknowingly infected — and stops you inhaling any virus from them, if they are unknowingly infected.”

Yuguo Li, a University of Hong Kong engineering professor and senior author on the paper that Dr. Marr cited to make the calculations, said that hugs probably pose less risk than a longer face-to-face conversation. “The exposure time is short, unlike conversation, which can be as long as we like,” he said. “But no cheek kissing.”

Dr. Li said the risk of viral exposure may be highest at the start of the hug, when two people approach each other and could breathe on each other, and at the end, when they pull apart. Wearing a mask is important, as is hand washing, because there’s a low risk of picking up the virus from another person’s hands, skin or clothes.

Dr. Marr noted that because the risk of a quick hug with precautions is very low but not zero, people should choose their hugs wisely.

“I would hug close friends, but I would skip more casual hugs,” Dr. Marr said. “I would take the Marie Kondo approach — the hug has to spark joy.”

By 

Tara Parker-Pope is the founding editor of Well, The Times’s award-winning consumer health site. She won an Emmy in 2013 for the video series “Life, Interrupted” and is the author of “For Better: The Science of a Good Marriage.” @taraparkerpope

Illustrations by Eleni Kalorkoti

How hair became a culture war in quarantine

How hair became a culture war in quarantine

What the 1968 feminist protest against Miss America and quarantine-breaking haircuts have in common.

A man covered in a drape patterned like the American flag sits in a barbershop getting his hair cut by a barber.
A man gets his hair in Temecula, California, in late May 2020.
Francine Orr/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

 

Now, in 2020, Americans have once again mythologized traversing a great distance — this time for haircuts.

In Yuba and Sutter counties in California, salons and barbershops have opened ahead of the state’s schedule and, according to the Los Angeles Times, some antsy people are traveling up to 600 miles for a cut. The day-long journeys to snip away stray follicles are drastic repercussions of salon shutdowns across the country.

Hair has been a roiling topic of conversation since coronavirus lockdowns first went into place across the country. With access to salons and barbershops cut off, Americans have been forced to face and change their habits: buying clippers, dyeing colors, taking to social media to debate how long it takes roots to grow or show off their failed attempts at a bangs trim. Even celebrities have confessed their follicular secrets. And as the shutdowns have gone on, people have become increasingly restless and desperate.

In Michigan, anti-lockdown protesters staged haircut demonstrations outside the Capitol in Lansing, defying the state’s stay-at-home orders and toting “End Tyranny” signs. Similar protests from stylists and cosmetologists have happened in Texas and Connecticut.

Barbers cut hair during the Michigan Conservative Coalition-organized “Operation Haircut.”
Jeff Kowalsky/AFP via Getty Images

 

These moments of haircut valor come despite health officials’ warnings about a second wave of coronavirus infections and how salons and barbershops are particularly susceptible to virus spread because of the close nature of grooming. Despite this danger, as states begin to open up, salons and barbershops are being included in fairly early phases of reopening, often before hotels or schools.

And so salons and barbers have become the battlefield of a great American culture war.

As superficial as it seems, hair is one of the greatest expressions of our identity

There is an $87.9 billion global industry centered on what’s going on, or not going on, at the top of our heads. Haircuts, shampoos, conditioners, coloring, texture treatments, hairdryers, pomades, oils, sunscreens, scalp scrubbers, and everything else that allows us to do what we want to do with our hair is big business, with deep cultural significance. It’s also intrinsically personal.

The heart of the hair industry, and the beauty industry at large, is wrapped around this core idea of self-expression. As superficial as it may seem, how we cut, color, treat, and process our hair is how we want to see ourselves and, at the same time, how we want to be seen. Hair brings us closer to our idea of our ideal selves, whatever that may be.

“It is part of a routine that we follow — a routine we’ve been following since we were little kids,” J. Clark Walker, a stylist at Martial Vivot Salon Pour Hommes in New York City, told me. “How you feel about your hair 100 percent affects how we see ourselves. Image takes a lot of upkeep.”

“If you didn’t appreciate your hair, then you definitely do now.” Davide Marinelli, the owner of the Davide Hair Studio in New York City, told me, echoing Walker’s sentiment. Marinelli said that before the pandemic, he was doing 10 to 20 services per day. Hair “makes a huge impact on your everyday life and appearance and self-esteem.”

“HOW YOU FEEL ABOUT YOUR HAIR 100 PERCENT AFFECTS HOW WE SEE OURSELVES”

The way we perceive other people’s haircuts and styles is a language of its own, too. Based on our individual experiences, someone with a shock of pink in their hair sets off our own ideas about what that person is like, who they are, and what their interests are. The same goes for long hair, short hair, a bob, a high and tight, a shaved head, and whatnot.

Hair is an extension of our identity and affords some of us benefits that we may not even be aware of.

I’ve never had to think twice about what my hair looks like, other than I want it to look nice. Nice is completely subjective, of course, and usually involves something I saw on a handsome man in an advertisement or my dreaded Instagram Explore page. But other people, including women and particularly black men and women, don’t have this privilege. The choices they make directly affect how society perceives them and bring up a fraught history about how certain appearances were acceptable and others were not.

In 1968, (largely white) feminists protested the Miss America pageant, and hair tools were among the items symbolically destroyed. That protest is often referred to as the one where bras were burned, but in actuality, no bras were incinerated — they were just trashed along with curlers and wigs, symbols of the standards placed on women’s appearances. To protesters, not having curled hair and a full face of makeup was a symbol of resistance against the sexism of beauty pageants and the sexist norms of the time.

Black women and men have had to face lifetimes of standards placed upon them by white America about what kind of hair is acceptable and what isn’t — a lot more recently than 1968.

In March, Virginia became just the fourth state in history — after California, New York, and New Jersey — to ban hair discrimination, which unfairly targets black men and women for wearing natural hairstyles.

Earlier this year, a Texas high school senior made the news because his school wouldn’t allow him to walk in graduation unless he cut his dreadlocks. Similarly, in New Jersey in 2019, a white referee forced a black high school wrestler to cut his dreadlocks before a match or forfeit. Also in 2019, Brittany Noble, a former news anchor at Mississippi’s WJTV, said she was discriminated against and eventually fired after she wore her natural hair.

Instances like these make clear that how black men and women choose to wear their hair has direct consequences on the opportunities they have, and that institutions and workplaces have often used hair to control people of color.

For black women, wearing natural hair, as Noble did on air, has been a journey, explained Anthony Dickey, the founder of Hair Rules, a business and salon that are built on the credo of helping women, regardless of ethnicity, find beauty in their natural hair texture.

“Oftentimes, being natural for a black woman meant that she was being ‘militant’ or she was [carrying] the ideas that came out of the first natural hair movement in the ’60s and ’70s,” Dickey told me. Ebony explains this idea of militancy primarily revolves around the Afro, and how it embodied the Black Is Beautiful and Black Power coalitions. As black women advanced in corporate, predominantly white, America, their hairstyles changed too.

“No woman of color was going to trust a Sunday press to 60 percent chance of rain and go into a white corporate environment” in the ’80s, Dickey said.

As Dickey explained, and as documentaries like Chris Rock’s Good Hair explored, black women have dealt with decades of voices telling them what was acceptable and desirable hair. Save for a few supermodels like Naomi Campbell, they never saw themselves in beauty bibles like Vogue or Harper’s Bazaar or Glamour. This journey is interlaced with its own nuances and conversations about identity, pride, community, and experiences that many of us who aren’t black or people of color, and haven’t had to deal with these issues, would have trouble fully understanding. As Dickey points out, events like Virginia’s 2020 anti-hair discrimination law passing signal that the journey is still happening. “If we’re talking about natural hair, yeah, you’re talking about the imbalance of beauty and power in an antiquated, archaic beauty industry,” he tells me.

When people, mainly black men and women, are being discriminated against because of their hair, then how they choose to wear it is revealed to be political. The politics and power of hair become all the more clear when we see the response that new groups have to losing control over their own.

Why someone takes a 700-mile journey to get their hair cut

Hair salons and gyms were among the first things to go when states like California and New York began shelter-in-place directives to curb the coronavirus. The reason was simple: The virus spreads when there’s close contact between humans.

Regardless of politics, getting your hair cut is risky because it requires someone’s face to be so close to your own. You’re both breathing the same air, and, barring the advent of human bubbles or remote control robotic arms, you can’t socially distance from your stylist. Each state has its own reopening structure. In states like New York and California, barbershops and salons are usually scheduled to open in the second phase alongside smaller retail. But there is no designated amount of time that directs local governments to move from one phase to another. For example, depending on infection numbers, New York City may have to wait longer than New York state when moving to phase two of its reopening.

Still, as the New York Times points out, even though Americans were concerned about the spread of the virus, the idea of civil liberties being infringed was something right-wing voters are sympathetic to.

These health directives didn’t stop anyone from cutting their hair at home. But, politics aside, there is a special role stylists, barbers, braiders, and other hair professionals play in our society. At Elle, writer Chloe Hall interviewed black women and explained how difficult and time-consuming it is to do their hair at home instead of going to a salon.

“No matter who you are, everyone gets themselves looking a certain way every day, and there are a few things[such as haircuts] that we have been outsourcing for centuries,” Walker, the stylist from Martial Vivot Salon Pour Hommes, told me. It’s something I’m familiar with myself.

Walker has been my barber since I moved back to the city a little over five years ago. Haircuts with him (a fade, with a little length on top) are something I looked forward to because we’ve become friends. Plus, his cuts made me happy and more confident with my appearance — something I haven’t felt in a long time.

For certain people, however, doing their hair at home wouldn’t have the same symbolism of breaking the rules of quarantine, traveling a great distance to get your haircut, and then posting it on social media. The same goes for stylists who opened their shops against health directives. Getting a haircut when society tells you that you can’t is, in its own way, an act of rebellion.

A Washington state hairstylist gives a defiant trim on May 9.
Jason Redmond/AFP via Getty Images

 

One’s forbidden haircuts, then, become a way to affirm one’s identity not just to oneself but also to other people. An example: Republican Sen. Ted Cruz getting a haircut last month at a salon owned by someone who was briefly jailed for defying the state’s stay-at-home orders.

Some hair professionals rallied, too. In Texas and Connecticut, stylists said they were protesting because the shutdown has hurt their income. In Connecticut, a decision to push back reopening from May to June 1 rankled salon owners and employees.

“You take away our opportunity to operate based on a part of the industry not being ready,” Jason Bunce, an owner of a Connecticut barbershop, told WTNH on May 19. “That is not how this country works. It’s never worked that way. McDonald’s doesn’t shut down when Burger King runs out of buns.”

Of course, everyone is free to feel however they want about their haircuts. But there are some tragic, non-political consequences and outcomes that can result from these rushed reopenings and interactions.

Last month, two stylists at a Missouri branch of Great Clips tested positive for the coronavirus and were found to have exposed more than 100 customers to the disease. And on May 15, CBS reported that a barber who defied stay-at-home orders in Kingston, New York, had, per Gov. Andrew Cuomo, “infected over a dozen people.”

There’s the other side of the equation too: that while you may be ready to break quarantine, your stylist might not necessarily want to see you just yet. They have their own safety to worry about and precautions to take.

“The feeling that it’s your right to get a haircut whenever you want, and not your privilege, is driving people crazy,” Walker told me. “Speaking for myself, I am lucky, and most of my clients understand the situation and have embraced the idea of the quarantine ‘flow’ like a trophy. Are they dying to get a haircut? I’m sure, but they also get the situation we are all in.”

The quarantine “flow” I’m currently sporting is closer to a mullet and makes me feel like a time-displaced, renegade aerobic instructor. It’s currently crawling, all uneven, down the back of my neck. And I can’t wait to chop it off and make fun of it with Clark, as soon as New York City makes it to phase two in its reopening.

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W Magazine: 30 Years of Fashion

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