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Local businesses that require face-to-face interaction take steps to keep 'social distance'

Posted at 6:38 PM, Mar 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-21 16:45:39-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Businesses like restaurants are limiting seating for the CDC's recommended social distancing, but some jobs require face-to-face communication that can’t be performed at a distance.

The CDC says staying at least six feet away from others will stop the spread of coronavirus.

Eric Taylor, the owner of Xanadu Tattoo, says he can’t do his job from six feet, so his focus is on staying healthy, keeping the customers healthy, and trying to keep his doors open.

"I have to be in close proximity," said Taylor. "I have no choice but to put myself somewhat at risk."

Now, he’s making changes to keep his customers safe.

"Before, I would have groups of people come in,” said Taylor. "I'm no longer allowing groups larger than 3."

Taylor is also asking that anyone who tags along sit in the designated area, six feet away from the chair.

Taylor says while other businesses are seeing the impact of COVID-19, it's been business as usual at Xanadu Tattoo.

"I think people look at getting a tattoo almost a therapy in a lot of ways," Taylor said.

One of Taylor’s customers said she spent more than a month waiting to get in that chair and she didn’t want to miss it.

It’s not just people in need of new ink looking for an outlet amid the coronavirus outbreak. Barbershops are also seeing steady business.

"Even if you're going to be quarantined, you want to look your best.” Dallas Gent, owner of Burn the Breeze Barber Shop says. “You don't want to come out of quarantine with your hair past your shoulders."

Just like Xanadu Tattoos, people are still coming in to get a haircut and the threat of spreading germs is still present.

Gent says they’re doing everything in their power to keep the business sanitary. They’re constantly cleaning surfaces customers touch and making sure their scissors, brushes and tools are clean.

But there's still the possibility those doors could close as the coronavirus spreads.

Luckily, some customers are thinking ahead.

"I had a client today reach out to me to buy a few gift cards in advance to pay for them now and he'll just use them later." Dallas Gent said.

Gent says he has friends in other state’s that have already shut down due to the COVID 19 pandemic. He says if he has to close doors, the business will suffer.

Taylor mirrors Gents concerns.

"Same as everyone else in our community," said Taylor. “Not having the ability to feed my family or dipping into what little savings I have and just taking it day by day."

Until the businesses are advised to shut down, both say they'll try to take as many minds off of the virus as they can.