Dearest Yoga Family,
As a member of the ZYC family I appreciate the trust you place in me and in our instructors. In the current environment it’s important for all of us to act quickly, smarter and more consciously. The COVID-19 virus has landed in North Carolina this past week and as most you know, Governor Roy Cooper declared a state of emergency. President Trump has declared a national emergency.
I am very much concerned about everyone’s wellness, the safety of our students, our teachers, our families and our community. This has been a very difficult decision for me, but I strongly believe it is in the best interest of all of our students, our teachers, our family members and our community to temporarily suspend studio classes beginning on March 15th until we have a better understanding of the situation. I am erring on the side of caution with hopes that studio classes will resume quickly, and will be monitoring the situation daily as new information become available. We have some LIVE STREAMING yoga classes available this week and will be adding more soon. We should all be doing what we can to protect those most at risk in our society and each other by modifying our behavior.
I would like to personally update you on the situation with COVID-19 , the coronavirus pandemic.
There are still many unknowns about the COVID-19 virus, a virus the World Health Organization classified as a pandemic. That being said, this is what we do know:
1.). The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released official planning assumptions for pandemic influenza, COVID-19, that estimates between 200,000 and 1.2 million people * will be needing ICU care. There are about 46,500 medical ICU beds in the United States and perhaps an equal number of other ICU beds that could be used in a crisis. Even spread out over several months, the mismatch between demand and resources is clear. It is estimated that 38 million people will be needing medical care and another one million to 9.6 million will needing to be hospitalized. This is the most current projection from the HHS. Based on these projections our current health care system will be challenged greatly to meet the needs of all individuals during this pandemic. The impact of a COVID-19 pandemic on hospitals is expected to be severe in the best of circumstances. Presently, US hospitals routinely operate at or near full capacity and have limited ability to rapidly increase services. There are currently shortages of healthcare workers of all kinds, emergency departments are overcrowded and often have to divert patients to other hospitals. We must try to do our best to flatten this pandemic by modifying our behavior as a community. *[Estimates on the low-end are based on 20% of the United States population contracting the virus, on the conservative high-end 50% of the United States population contracting the virus.]
2.) Globally, about 3.4% of reported COVID-19 cases have died. By comparison, seasonal flu generally kills far fewer than 1% of those infected. COVID-19 causes more severe disease than seasonal influenza. While many people globally have built up immunity to seasonal flu strains, COVID-19 is a new virus to which no one has immunity. Fatality rates are as high a 15% to 49% for high risk individuals of “all ages” with compromised immune systems, heart disease, type 1 & 2 diabetes, kidney disease, cancer patients, lung diseases like asthma, individuals 65 years and older, and those who are “over exposed” to the virus, such as unprotected healthcare workers. We currently do not have enough protective gear for healthcare workers on the front lines to handle this pandemic. We should all be doing what we can to protect those most at risk in our society and each other by modifying our behavior.
3.) Early reports indicate person-to-person transmission most commonly happens during close exposure to a person infected with COVID-19, primarily via respiratory droplets produced when the infected person coughs or sneezes. Droplets can land in the mouths, noses, or eyes of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs of those within close proximity. Incubation period is between 2-14 days, with outliers up to 27 days, even though no symptoms are present transmission may still occur.
4.) In a yoga studio you are in close proximity, within six feet of others. If the COVID-19 virus is airborne, your risk is extremely high of contacting the virus if you are within six feet of a person with the virus. Hand sanitizers, disinfecting the studio after classes and Clorox wipes will not protect you from the COVID-19 airborne viruses. The COVID-19 airborne virus can linger up to 3 hours in the air.
5.) The COVID-19 virus is known to survive on surfaces for several days [with some estimates being as high as 72 hours on hard surfaces like stainless steel, wood or tile, and 24 hours on soft surfaces] Although we have been taking measures to disinfect the studio after each class, cleaning contact surfaces, using Clorox wipes, hand sanitizers, and Lysol spray, it has come to my realization that we are not equipped to completely sanitize the studio after each class and without protective gear attempting to do so we would be putting our teachers and staff at an even a greater risk.
6.). The best way to halt the COVID-19 virus is to limit all unnecessary social engagements, as a community we need to change our behavior especially during the early stages of this virus, so that we as a nation can better prepare and perhaps discover a way to end it. The best minds in the world are now focusing on the problem - we just need to give them time and I am confident they will find a solution.
Taking cues from many major universities across the nation, including Duke University and NC State, and paying close attention to how other countries, like Italy, Spain, France, China, Poland, South Korea, and India are managing this pandemic by limiting unnecessary social engagements, closing schools, cancelling social events, closing unessential businesses, such as theaters, health clubs, restaurants, yoga studios, etc. demanding that their citizens stay at home unless it is absolutely necessary to venture out.
As a small business owner this has been a very difficult decision for me, but I strongly believe it is in the best interest of all of our students, our teachers, our family members and our community to temporarily suspend studio classes beginning on March 15th until we have a better understanding of the situation. I am erring on the side of caution with hopes that studio classes will resume quickly, and will be monitoring the situation daily as new information become available. I am currently working on a system to be able to offer online classes.
1. Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
2. Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
3. Stay home if you have a cough or flu-like symptoms or have been exposed to the COVID-19 virus.
4. Avoid touching your face with unwashed hands.
5. Cover all coughs and sneezes.
6. Keep your immune system strong by practicing yoga at home until classes resume.
7. Please avoid all unnecessary social engagements, encourage others do so as well and remain calm.
Everyone at ZYC loves the practice of yoga, it is our joy and passion to teach and share the practice of yoga with all of you. Yoga helps keep us all healthy, both physically and emotionally and ZYC will do our best to provide you online classes in the interim with hopes that studio classes will resume quickly.
We appreciate all of your patience and support during this very challenging time.
Wishing you all wellness, happiness and peace,