DEAR MISS MANNERS: Is it inappropriate to ask those taking care of you -- like a dental hygienist, dentist or manicurist, e.g. -- if they have been vaccinated for the virus, or if they have been recently tested?
I had a tooth pulled recently, and began to wonder, due to their very close proximity to my open mouth, if it would be offensive to them if I asked. I would never ask someone about these things in normal times.
GENTLE READER: You would still have a right to expect a safe and clean environment. What do you think all of those fancy health notices on the walls are for?
These businesses have no qualms about holding you to a safety standard -- even asking you to sign an affidavit before they will see you -- so there is no reason to be embarrassed for asking for one in return.
Miss Manners suggests that when you make these appointments, you ask the staff what their safety protocol is -- even if it is already listed on their website. Most businesses are eager to assure you that they are doing everything possible to safeguard their practice. Procuring these assurances is reasonable -- and doing so in advance will spare you the awkwardness of having the conversation while someone’s (gloved) hands are in your mouth.