Our Initial Response to Covid 19- Looking back from the future. Part 1
Have you ever heard the phrase, hindsight is 20-20?
Here at Skyhook, things seem like they are starting to return to normal. Some things might never be the same again after everything that has happened over the last 18 months, but we are slowly rebuilding. I recently wrote a post looking back at the last nearly five years of being open, including what the journey has been like for us behind the scenes. As part of that post I wanted to put in renewed effort to give our community a glimpse behind the scenes, so to speak, on how we are doing here at Skyhook. This is the first post in what I hope to be a series on our initial response to Covid, how it affected our business, our responses to it, and what we were thinking before, during and afterwards.
Below you can see our initial email to our members relating to Covid, and then afterwards I will include some statistics and information that most people probably were not privy to at the time.
We sent out a couple copies of this email, so the statistics are not all on the same part of our email platform, but it was opened over 2k times.
A letter From the Owner of Skyhook
Our Response to Covid-19
Here at skyhook we, like many others in our community, are facing a difficult set of decisions around Covid-19. What level of response and action do we take? We have consulted multiple doctors/health professionals about this outbreak and what responsibilities we have to help protect both our members and our staff. It is a challenging line to walk, not underreacting and contributing to the spread of a pandemic, but not overreacting in a way that hurts some of the most important people to us; our staff. I founded Skyhook to try to change the world, I wanted to fight obesity, promote healthy living and make a difference greater than what I could provide on my own. We have achieved that, as I have seen adults and kids lose weight, be active and find a new type of activity in a supportive community that truly cares for one another. Seeing this develop has been beyond my wildest dreams, and has kept me going when things get tough.
I have also had the unique opportunity to make a difference in the lives of the wonderful and amazing people we employ. Currently, Skyhook loves and employs over 34 people! 11 of those staff have kids and dependants, and provide the sole source of income for their household.
We have always strived to provide all of our staff with a livable wage, since not only is helping people part of our mission, but we firmly believe that you get what you pay for. We want only the best working with your kids and families. Prior to the outbreak, we had been working on getting our staff not just competitive pay, but also access to benefits.
All of this is to say that we have done our reading on the importance of social distancing, helping slow the spread, and flattening the curve so that our healthcare system doesn't get overloaded and has enough beds and technology to treat those who are most at risk during this time, which will decrease the number of deaths substantially. We want to do our part in this, but we also want to make sure we can protect the jobs and livelihood of our staff, as recessions also lead to many deaths (unfortunately this is more true in america than elsewhere). So the balance we are striking is staying open, but enforcing strict rules for our members and staff around cleanliness. If we find someone is unable to follow our guidelines, they will be politely asked to leave.
For our part we at Skyhook we have:
-Tripled our cleaning labor/efforts
-Made paper towels and disinfectant spray for equipment more accessible around the gym
- Coached staff on how to ensure students are not exposing one another (more details in the next section).
With everyone doing their part, we will all overcome this obstacle, however we ask our members/guests follow these guidelines, or they will be politely asked to leave.
We ask our members to Please:
-Wash your hands upon entering our facility before class/open gym
-Remain at least 3 feet away from other members during class and open gym
-Refrain from touching your face
-Using your knuckles when flipping light switches, pressing public buttons or touch screens at stores
-Using your hips to push open doors instead of your hands
-Coughing and/or sneezing into a disposable tissue and promptly throwing it away (alternatively, if a disposable tissue isn't available please use the inside of your elbow)
-Once again, wash your hands often! For a minimum of 20 seconds with water and soap.
-Do not come if you are sick. We are encouraging anyone feeling ill or displaying symptoms to use caution and good judgment to limit the spread of illness, if you are sick, please stay home, Skyhook will still be here when you feel better!
-Parents will need to keep a closer eye on their kids, if your child is unable to abide by these rules, we will have to ask them to leave. This is an unfortunate measure we will have to take to ensure the safety of all of our members
-Finally, if you are part of one of the higher risk categories; Immunocompromised individuals, Older adults, and people with chronic medical conditions like heart disease, diabetes, or lung disease, we ask you to stay home. The average member here at Skyhook is between the ages of 6 and 10, so this is probably not the week for Grandma and Grandpa to bring you to the gym.
Beyond promoting health and fitness, member satisfaction is our priority. We at Skyhook are taking all necessary precautions and will be operating under our regular schedule as long as it is safe to do so. We ask that if you are in a position to help support Skyhook, even if you don't feel comfortable coming in, please keep your membership here at Skyhook. This will help us guarantee that we will have all the same coaches and staff that you know and love when the storm passes. Not everyone will be in a position to be able to do this, and we understand, but if you are, please consider doing so to help the people who are not in a financial place in their lives to be able to do so.
A note from Jamie Buck, the General Manager of Skyhook:
Although we have had less people freeze their accounts this week given the situation than could be expected, we want to address this as a possible issue to come. We want to be as fair as possible with members and freeze accounts within two weeks of receiving them. The reality is that if everyone freezes at the same time, Skyhook will not be able to stay in business. Our proposed solution is as follows: -If you are financially able to not freeze at this time, we would greatly appreciate you keeping your membership active. -Please note that there is also $15.00/ month freeze charge listed in your membership agreement. -We want to be as fair as possible with all of our members. If you are feeling substantial hardship please feel free to email Jamie at firstname.lastname@example.org to go over potential solutions.
With schools being closed as early as next week we know that a lot of parents are struggling to find childcare on such short notice. In an effort to help support our community and follow our mission of helping others, we at Skyhook will be offering an additional week of Spring Break Camp starting on 3/16 through 3/27. We understand the hardship that our community is going through right now, so we will be offering this camp at 20% less than our normal camp pricing. Please feel free to call the gym and/or respond to this email to get your spot today. We are not doing this in an effort to make money, rather we are trying to ensure that our staff has enough hours at this time so if you cannot afford camp because of financial hardship due to covid-19, please email email@example.com and we will talk about trade options.
Sincerely and with Love, Cody Knope-Jenkins Lynn Knope Terry Jenkins Owners of Skyhook
Click Here to go to part two when it is published.