One of my coping mechanisms for navigating the world is to always have manicured nails. It is a privilege to be able to afford to get them done by someone else on a regular basis. As I’ve been watching the news over the past few weeks as COVID-19 spreads around the world, I have nervously chipped away the gel polish on all my nails. Beauty salons, like many other brick-and-mortar businesses, will be operating on life support as New York, California, and, likely the rest of the country, shuts down to reduce the number of sick people falling ill to COVID-19.

The problem here isn’t that I would like a new manicure, but that I am (as per the CDC suggestions) self-isolating inside, driving money away from businesses that run on nearly nonexistent margins. There is no safety net or support system for workers like nail artists, hair stylists, and facialists, who may be risking their…

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