In response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, and in the interest of the health of our clients, our staff, our loved ones, and the general public, we have made the difficult decision to temporarily close the studio. We hope to reopen soon, and will keep everyone informed if and when anything changes. For now, Infinite Body Piercing is temporarily closed.
This was a decision made with careful consideration. We were obviously keeping an eye on other business closures during this time, in addition to government recommendations. When we made the decision early on the morning of Monday, March 16, Philadelphia had not yet made any prohibitions against businesses being open. The Friday before, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf ordered restaurants and bars to close dine-in service in the five counties surrounding Philadelphia, including Bucks, Chester, Delaware and Montgomery counties. Mayor Jim Kenney had announced that Philadelphia public schools were closing, but was resisting more expansive closures because of the economic setbacks Philly businesses would face.
Ultimately, it was decided that we couldn’t wait for the City, and we made the decision to close. We decided that the health of our staff and clients, in addition to the impact on public health, was just too important. A big part of what we do is making a priority of health and safety: for our staff, for our clients, and for the public at large. Looking at the situation through that lens, the answer was clear. We let the staff know before work Monday that we would be closing. Shortly after, Mayor Kenney announced that all nonessential businesses and government operations in Philadelphia were to close by Monday afternoon as the city grappled with the coronavirus pandemic.
When watching reports on how to avoid the virus, the most repeated advice is social distancing, and we just don’t have that option at the studio. Due to the intimate nature of what we do, our staff and clients are at increased risk of exposure in our studio, and we didn’t want to continue to operate a space with that level of risk for contracting the virus.
Also, as a shop we use many supplies that are crucial to the medical community. In the last week, these supplies have become more and more scarce throughout all levels of our supply chain. Disinfecting wipes and sprays, in addition to personal protective equipment, are becoming increasingly difficult to get as our usual distributors have been forced to ration access to these items. It can easily be argued that at this time these supplies are more crucial to those fighting the spread of this disease than those of us working in a piercing studio.
While our brick-and-mortar studio in Philadelphia will be closed for business, we will continue to process and ship orders from our online store as normal. We will continue to check our email regularly, and urgent questions can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org. For anyone looking for a way to support local businesses as we close our doors this week and next, shopping online with small retailers is a great way to do it.
During this temporary closure, we made one request of the staff—and we’ll extend it as a request to our clients and friends: stay the fuck home. While most of our employees and the majority of our clients are at an age that will be less likely to be seriously sickened by contracting COVID-19, the public health of the larger community depends on slowing the spread of the disease. As you may have seen in the news, it's crucial from a public health standpoint to "flatten the curve" of the infection, as to not overwhelm public health services. We have a responsibility not just for the safety of ourselves and those close to us, but all the members of our larger community.
Stay safe, and thank you all for your understanding during this difficult time. We will keep everyone informed as things progress.
Update: The original version of this post had the shop closed until March 30. Currently, the City of Philadelphia continues to mandate all non-essential businesses are to stay closed until further notice, so we do not yet have a date for reopening.