April 30 Update on Reopening

Hey Warriors,

As always I’d like to begin with asking how are you? I want to know; feel free to email me and share.

It seems like the times are ever changing, causing us all to pivot frequently in thought and action. This can be mentally draining, at least it has been for me. So I hope you’ve been able to take breaks and take care of yourself.

I want to further communicate our plans to reopen M3, especially as the Governor just announced the state will essentially be open again starting tomorrow.

As has been communicated in previous emails, our plan is to open in mid May at the very earliest. WE WANT TO SEE YOU SO BADLY. But as a business that serves a variety of people in a facility where physical exertion is happening, I believe that we need to make sure that every policy and procedure is 100% in place and our team is fully ready to keep you safe and healthy.

We will reopen the studio in a phased approach. Phase 1 will include maintaining M3live and M3online offerings along with in-person classes with smaller class sizes.

We don’t have a date for that phase to start yet. But you will be the first to know when we do. Our reopening date primarily will be based on the COVID-19 data trends for our area and state.

I believe that part of the role we play as a business in Athens is as community leaders. And at times community leaders have to make hard decisions. I need my business open, and soon, but does our amazing city need it open right now, especially with the potential to further spread a dangerous virus as a result? No.

We are choosing to not open right now because the data is uncertain. And it’s data, not feelings, we have to go by right now.

When I worked at a surgery center outside of Washington DC, I was in charge of maintaining policy and writing procedures, much of it around infection control.

Using that lens, it is my belief that any business that serves people like we do will have a very hard time opening with adequate procedures in place. Especially given the shortage of vital materials such as sanitizer, masks and cleaning supplies. (Don’t worry, we’ve been doing a lot of research and wheeling and dealing on the backend to make sure we have what it takes to open when the time is right 😉)

Many places are opting to put cleaning supplies and responsibility in the patrons hands. While this has been our practice in the past, we believe in times like this it is our responsibility—not yours—that we keep our place up to standards. So we’ve begun training staff and have developed new policies to make sure we can keep up with your safety so when you come into our studio, the only thing you have to worry about is enjoying your practice.

We have been hard at work finalizing those procedures that will bring us back together. Expect some updates next week from us along with an FAQ page on the website that will outline all our new policies and protocols to keep you safe.

I have opted out of giving advice during this time, because that is not within our scope. I do, however, recommend you follow the CDC guidelines when going out. Those guidelines are what we are using to help craft what the studio will look like upon reopening.

Because of the mixed messaging and political dynamics of this situation, businesses have been put in a challenging spot of having to research epidemiology statistics, navigate conflicting policies and understand the confusing world of government assistance, etc.

Many businesses are being placed in a position in which they don’t have resources and are now having to decide between significant financial strain or public safety. This is a challenging place to be in. An unfair place even.

I encourage that you not judge any business based on their decisions, because small business owners in the matter of weeks have had to become proficient in financial counseling, IT, epidemiology, new state and federal policy, and so much more.

Support businesses your ideals align with, especially the local ones. But as a community, just as we do on our mats, let’s take judgment out of the equation and send everyone love and light in these unsettled times. Everyone is trying to do their very best in a very difficult time.

At M3Yoga, for our community, I commit to continue to make all decisions based on your safety and the community at large’s safety. One based on data and trends.

Because of your support we have the luxury of doing that. Because of your support we have been able to continue people’s memberships who have lost their jobs or been placed under significant financial strain at this time. We have been able to continue paying much of our team in some capacity.

Thank you a million times over. You all have put us first so many times, and I commit to continue doing that for you.

Expect several more emails over the course of the next few weeks laying out new protocols and safety measures so you can be ready to come in and smile and laugh with us in person, when that time is right.

We love you Athens, so much. Be safe, be especially smart at this time, and be well. I love you Warriors.