Our Pandemic Operating Plan
Business is not as usual
but we're still open for business.
by Scott Britton, Owner of Happy Window Cleaning LLC
Update: 5/3/21: This Pandemic Operating plan was written in February/March of 2020. Note that it was written before we had firm guidelines from the CDC, NIH, and MIOSHA for SARS-COVID-19. However, what is now evident, the precautions that we implemented back then were well ahead of the curve. We continue to survey the latest recommendations of the experts in virology and infectious disease.
Update 5/11/2022 At this late date in the pandemic, vulnerable people in our area have been vaccinated and boosted. Please inform us in advance if you require our people to wear a mask indoors. Not everyone at our company is willing to do that now that there are vaccines and even a pill proven to prevent serious disease and death from COVID and all known variants. Still, it remains policy to send someone that is willing to accommodate you. The change is that now this accommodation must be requested in advance.
The following is my opinion informed by what I see as facts being that I am both a Christain and a science geek and have been involved with public health education for a very long time.. Please keep in mind that there is no reason to share a room with our window cleaners. So long as you keep a safe distance from them and spend no more than a few minutes face to face the risks of catching an airborne disease are extraordinarily low.
This is because "viral cones" are diluted in the air similar to the way a drop of food coloring is diluted in a large volume of water. Published studies at Harvard Medical have proven that it takes 100,000 viral particles to infect lung cells in a Petri dish and the fact is that those Plaque Assays don't have an innate immune system fighting off infection but people do. I am really geeking out here, forgive me, but I really believe that this issue needs to be put into proper perspective at this point. IgM antibodies from the innate immune system do fight off covid infections and all variants up until the limited supply of neutralizing antibodies in the body are depleted. It is important to know this because social distancing works because of the physical property of viral dilution in the air. Studies indicate that this virus is not infectious from touching surfaces.
Over 100,000 viral particles or more are the point of viral load when the "Adaptive Immune System" kicks in for those who have been vaccinated and it is the point where the immune system fails for those who refuse to be vaccinated. I am not suggesting that you don't take some precautions. Read the official guidelines from the experts and official sources. Listen to them not me. There is a reason those working in public health counsel people to avoid spending more than a few minutes face to face with others. Infections are typically not instantaneous. Unless someone coughs right in your face or kisses you or you spend a while (ten to fifteen minutes) talking to someone who is shedding virus face to face it is very unlikely that you will get enough viral particles to infect you. Keep 8 feet away and you will be fine unless you are concerned about measles which has a longer range than COVID. It typically takes repeated exposure to infect someone with COVID. That said, of course, it is also possible to get a bit from one person and more viral particles from another person or the same person, like a family member over the course of a single day. The best thing for those who have underlying conditions is to keep a distance of 8 feet from everyone except for short introductions and interactions when necessary. And yes of course it is appropriate to ask people to wear a mask in their own homes. This is what I believe after completing an Audit of the Columbia Virology Course (passing all exams with high marks) and this is what informs my company's policies. End of Update.
If you're wondering if we are accepting appointments, the short answer is yes, in fact, continue to deliver window cleaning services.
The past few weeks have been daunting for us as we realize that there’s a strong possibility that Grand Rapids or West Michigan, or even the state in its entirety, might soon be on lockdown. As people coming from professional and relevant backgrounds, we understand that each of us carries the responsibility to practice every precaution during this crisis. Our customers, employees, and our community mean more to us than whatever hardship we will certainly face before coming through these times. Our hope and prayer are that every single person we know will still be with us next year and beyond. Yes, it is a big ask, but we know He answers our prayers. I pray for all of those who have fallen ill, whether it be from flu, COVID -19, or other illnesses, and for their loved ones.
We acknowledge that the risks from COVID -19 are real. For those who follow me on Facebook, I have been sharing dozens of videos for over two months from this biology course. Continuing education is just who we are. More important than the economic and business aspect of this crisis, I think of older customers and those we have been serving for years now. I have not forgotten any of you. In 2019 I had been so busy focused on building out the franchise that I now regret not having spent more time with you. Despite how busy we have been Cherie and I care for all our customers, regular or new, that’s just how it is. Then there are our employees – young men whom we have mentored and must lead, who support themselves and, in some cases, have dependents of their own. They are family too and we are duty-bound to look after their well-being as best we can. So, this new operating plan is about meeting our obligations to everyone morally and logically.
A crisis such as COVID-19 can bring the worst in some, but we witness that here in West Michigan it is also bringing out the best in us. Our operations and marketing plan created over the offseason is of little use now. In short order, we have revisited our mission and have prayed for guidance to find a new “purpose-driven” way forward.
Scott is certified by the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification as an Applied Microbial Remediation Technician and holds a separate certification in Health and Safety (among several other bio-related certifications) from the same institution. Our Technicians are also lifetime members and certified by Doug Ruckers Power Washing School. Our fees are going to be reasonable. Every amount helps and adds up.
GIFT CARD FOR WINDOW CLEANING SERVICE
Another way you can help us flourish is by purchasing a gift card. The gift card can be for any of the following services:
Dryer Vent Cleaning
Pressure and Soft Washing Exterior Surfaces
The gift card is valid for one year and is subject to the availability of open dates. Example: You are buying this for your mother whose birthday is on July 12. We may not be able to do the service exactly on July 12 but we will perform the service on a mutually convenient schedule around that date.
The value of the gift card will depend on the estimate given by our staff for the service.
Our commitment to transparency is your peace of mind.
Ever since we went into business, we have been transparent in our dealings with our customers and employees. We inform our customers about the products we use so they know that they are safe from hazardous chemicals. We have an open book system with our employees, so they know where every cent our customer pays goes. COVD-19 is presenting us with another challenge, not just to keep afloat as a small business in this time of crisis, but to be even more accountable to our customers about the safety precautions we take as responsible citizens in our community. Having said this, we commit to outlining the precautionary measures and the products we have implemented as we do our share in helping prevent the spread of the virus.
For purposes of transparency, we let you know the products we use –
For cleaning, we are using soap and water. For Certain exterior surfaces, we use sodium hypochlorite (bleach), neutralizer, and soap.
Payment is due upon completion of work
There are three ways to pay for the service:
PayPal (recommended as physical contact is not required, the customer pays for PayPal fees),
By mailing a check, or
Cash in an envelope (least recommended)
As small as we are, we offer our humble contribution to society.
Please support local businesses like us.
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