A hairdresser once told me that letting my hair go gray would not make me happy—and I believed her. Then came Covid-19 and our involuntary incarceration. Relatives and friends in my age cohort went gray or, if lucky, silver—their locks longish and lacking style. Seeing them on frequent Zoom calls confirmed that I did not want to follow suit. I had to find a hairdresser who was-Covid safe.
I slid into Tiffany’s single chair in the small salon appended to her kitchen. She allowed only one person to enter at a time, and she was a reasonable person: mature, bright, and caring. Moreover, she was an excellent hair stylist, having worked out of her shop for over twenty-five years; she was old enough to be cautious and young enough not to cut my hair so that I looked like a senior member of the White Glove Ladies Club. I thought I had found my solution!
However, as Tiffany was tying an apron around my front, she announced—similar to a first grader showing her mom a gold star on her homework—that she had gone for her first vaccination with her daughter, Riley. I managed to keep the shock from showing on my face. “Terrific,” I said, with all the gusto I was able to muster. “So glad you got the shot.”
“Yes,” she smiled, clearly proud of herself. “Riley works for Well-Star (a large medical group), and it mandated that all employees get vaccinated. She confessed to me that she was ready anyway, after seeing weeks of patients on ventilators. She took me with her, and we got our shots together.”
The conversation moved on to small talk, and Tiffany finished trimming my hair. We set up my next appointment for a hair color. I paid, petted Hank—her big, white and black bulldog-Dalmatian mix—and left the salon.
I didn’t turn on the ignition. Instead, I sat in my hot car and mulled over the fact that, for the past several months and many appointments, I had assumed that Tiffany had been fully vaccinated.
Lesson one: Never assume that someone is vaccinated.
Lesson two: Never, ever assume that someone is vaccinated.
Lesson three: Wear your mask and get vaccinated because too many people are not.