Are “Personal Care” Shops Essential?


Courtesy of

Personal care shops such as barbershops and nail salons (above) are set to open May 20 in Connecticut.

Christopher Screnock, Staff Writer

Recently, the state of Connecticut announced its plan to begin a re-opening of the state starting May 20. An article published by the Stamford Advocate mentions that restaurants with outdoor spaces, personal care shops, and other retail stores could be among the first to open again.  Overall, I believe this is a great first step for the state. We’ve recently seen numbers of coronavirus victims steadily decrease, with lower hospitalization numbers. 

However, one thing I do not understand is the idea of personal care shops opening. It is good to open the parks and other outdoor spaces, but a place like a barbershop or nail salon is nothing of the sort. All of the other openings beginning May 20 are places where people can continue practicing social distancing. However, personal care establishments are almost the closest people can get to one another. People are sitting and standing right next to each other for a fairly long duration of time. To get your hair or nails done, you need to be physically touching someone else, and you just don’t know if they could possibly be asymptomatic carriers of the virus.

The advisory groups also stated that they “hope people follow the rules.” This is implying that people should continue social distancing while enjoying the new freedoms they are allowed. People cannot physically socially distance in a situation where physical contact is necessary.

I think hair and nail shops, and restaurants, should be some of the last places to open. There are always other ways of obtaining food than being close to people at restaurants, and I know many people may disagree, but a haircut or manicure is not a “need” in a time like this.