Covid-19 CoronaVirus is all we see or hear about anymore in the news and it’s effects are becoming more and more evident in our communities. As a matter of fact, this morning I received a local news update that all dining-in options in Salt Lake County will be prohibited for the next 30 days, starting tonight. And, of course, more and more shelves in our grocery stores are recurrently empty and public sporting events are all but done for the immediate future. Difficult and challenging times indeed.
We, in the massage chair industry, are seeing the effects of the CoronaVirus as well. Granted, a massage chair is not considered to be a life essential, but if you are considering getting one in the near future, there are some things you should know while making that decision. I’ll discuss them here:
Production of massage chairs that are built completely, or in part, in China have experienced delays. Not just because of the primary factory, but also because of delays in the factories that produce some of the chair parts. So, even if the primary factory is running at close to full capacity, they can only work to the point that they have available parts from secondary factories.
It has been mentioned by a couple of our suppliers that some factories already have 70-80% of their workers back. But, again, if the parts factories are not as well staffed, final production will still lag.
Shipping and Logistics
Even if all factories were up to full capacity right now, the back order log would be so long that it could take months for all the demand to be produced and then shipped across the sea. There is not an infinite amount of vessels to transport product from China. Logistics has it’s limitations. For that reason, full production does not immediately translate to complete fulfillment of back orders.
Shipping in the USA does not appear to be affected too much at this point. So, once the chairs do arrive from China, deployment should happen as it always has.
Current Inventory Levels
I communicated with a couple of our suppliers last week and was told by both that they currently have good inventory supplies of their chair models. Two other companies, that I know of, have at least one back-ordered model, the ETA of which is mid-May for both companies. I know that all the massage chair companies are watching the situation very closely in China and here in the USA. As we learn of any updates, I typically will share that information in this blog or in my biweekly Massage Chair Industry Update.
Life Expectancy of the CoronaVirus
How long can the CoronaVirus live outside of a human host? More specifically, can the CoronaVirus travel in a container coming from China and survive when hits US soil? The answer is no, plain and simple. A recent study shows that the virus can survive from up to 24 hours to 72 hours outside of a host. It takes weeks for a container to reach the USA once it leaves the warehouse in China. Your new chair (or any Chinese-made product, for that matter) will be free of any virus, if that is a concern for you.
What to Expect from Massage Chair Relief Showrooms
Massage Chair Relief will remain open during our regular store hours. Our stores are not high traffic areas (we never have more than 10 people in the showroom at any one time), so the exposure risk is low. However, we have taken the following steps with our staff, based on CDC and Red Cross recommendations, to minimize even more the chance for virus transmission:
- We wipe down each chair after customer use with Clorox disinfectant wipes, particularly the areas of human touch.
- We also wipe down our door handles, light switches, and refrigerator doors after each use.
- The staff wipes down their work station regularly.
- The staff is encouraged to wash their clothes at home in the warmest possible settings.
- Cover our mouths with our elbows during a cough or sneeze.
- Wash our hands regularly throughout the day.
Life goes on, but for now we get all to deal with this. Please feel free to contact us about any models we carry or need any assurances before ordering or if you have any feedback about the topic in this blog post.
Dr. Alan Weidner
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