Egor / stock.adobe..com
As we enter the final months of 2020, there can be no doubt this will be a year many, if not most, of us would rather forget. It certainly remains strange times for us all. As determined as we are to return to “business as usual,” insofar as it is possible to do so, the fact remains that COVID-19 is not, unfortunately, disappearing any time soon. At the time of writing, cases are once again rising around the UK and Europe, as was predicted would happen many months ago by scientists specializing in virus pandemics – it’s apparently the nature of the beast to become more widespread in winter. I question whether “cases” are indeed rising, or, as testing is being swiftly increased, have cases been uncovered that were there anyway.
Yet even with the challenging forecasts, our industry appears to be continuing to pick itself back up rather well! I have to continue to say “hats off” to the commitment and dedication of our professional salon operators. Their commitment to professionalism prior to the pandemic is certainly reaping rewards now, particularly with regard to the issue of hygiene. Customers of professional tanning salons were already confident of the salon and tanning bed cleanliness, so hygiene in the context of infection risk post-lockdown simply hasn’t been an issue, particularly with the use and promotion of enhanced COVID hygiene taking place.
Another important factor delivering increased salon footfall is the plethora of new research and evidence cementing the role vitamin D plays with helping boost our immune system. Vitamin D in relation to COVID-19 is now featuring in the news almost on a daily basis. And as such, the tanning naysayers will surely be feeling the pressure.
I posted a video on social media recently of a TV interview with the Chief of Hospital Medicine at the University of Chicago who is also the lead author of a recent study that found an association between vitamin D deficiency and the likelihood of becoming infected with the Coronavirus. Within less than 12 hours of posting, it became the most watched and shared video I have ever posted. Colleagues who shared it have said exactly the same thing. That surely has to be a solid indication that reliable and credible information relating to vitamin D in the context of COVID-19 is knowledge that Joe Public is hungry for.
That video post followed another recent headline story in which our very own Health Minister incorrectly claimed that new UK clinical trials had shown that vitamin D did not have any impact on COVID-19 patients, in direct opposition to the growing body of global evidence that it does. Humiliatingly, Government officials later the same day had to admit that no such clinical trials had ever taken place and that the Minister had subsequently agreed to meet with experts to discuss how vitamin D can help in the fight against the virus. There has to be a very big question there as to why he said what he did in the first place.
Nonetheless, this is all good news for the professional operators in our industry who serve up vitamin D as a by-product of their cosmetic tanning service – this is surely a “Buy One, Get One Free” potential marketing opportunity! But hey, listen, can you hear that sound? It’s the anti-tanning scaremongers hiding behind their sofas with their fingers in their ears shouting “la-la-la” so they can ignore the fact that sun avoidance is so harmful to our health. As always, there is more reason than ever to enjoy the sun or a tanning bed session- just don’t burn.
Even with the challenging forecasts, our industry appears to be continuing to pick itself back up rather well!
In the tanning industry since 1982, Gary Lipman is Managing Director of the UK subsidary of Ergoline, and runs Ergoline Plus, the exclusive distributor for a wide range of sunless products & spray systems. He is also Chairman of the UK’s Sunbed Association & a European Sunlight Association member.
Copyright 2016 ist Magazine