KUALA LUMPUR, May 17 — News that barbers in some parts of the Klang Valley were making covert house-calls despite an ongoing restriction on their services during Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) was recently met with mixed feelings and concern.
The Malaysian Bumiputera Barber Association was reported by the Malay Mail defending the practice saying that it would be unfair of the government to halt barbers making housecalls. He pointed out that many of them were in the lower and middle income category and needed to make a living.
In late April, a dozen men and a barber were arrested in Seberang Perai after police raided a barbershop which was secretly operating during the MCO. All 12 admitted to being there to get a haircut.
Meanwhile in the US, a barber who defied the New York’s lockdown order and continued working for weeks, has not only been charged for the offence, he has been found positive for Covid-19.
He claimed that he was obeying the governor’s directive that New Yorkers continue working from home. The address of the shop is the same as the barber’s residence.
“We are taking extraordinary measures to try and minimize the spread of this dangerous disease and learning that a barbershop has been operating illicitly for weeks with a Covid-19 positive employee is extraordinarily disheartening,” said that county’s health authorities in a statement.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has claimed that this single barber infected more than a dozen other people and exposed hundreds to possible infection.
Last week, in Michigan, another person who reopened his barbershop had his professional and business licenses suspended. The barber was reported by the New York Times describing the action akin to that of “a police state.” Nevertheless, he planned to continue cutting hair, in defiance of the suspension.
In Texas, a salon owner who continued operating her shop in defiance of a lockdown order issued by the state governor, was sentenced to a week in prison.
Women have been forced to take exceptional measures to get their hair done. One said she went to her hairdresser’s house at night to avoid anyone noticing. Others sought help from their hairdresser to dye their own hair.