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'We didn't know what the future held for the business as well as the community .'

John Armstrong

Owner of Harrison Consultants Physical Therapy at 2034 E. Allegheny Ave. 

Interviewed in May 2021

Editor’s note: The following responses have been edited for clarity and brevity.

A nightmare because we shut down. It was this very scary time. We didn’t know what the future held for the business as well as the community because nobody knew anything about the virus. Overall, we’re at about 30% of what was normal. We’re anxious that in July, we’ll get back to some degree of normal, even though we’ll never be totally normal.

I know a lot of businesses that have had problems with the City of Philadelphia’s lockdowns. In my opinion, it was done on the side of health first — not commerce — which resulted in businesses permanently closing, but lives were saved. Very difficult; tough decision. I would not have wanted to be in that position. And the livelihood of some of these businesses that have been around for generations are no longer there. 

The City was great with their first grant. That really helped me get through the first two months. The Kensington and Allegheny Business Association has been very supportive of me. I’ve been going to some of the virtual meetings with the New Kensington Business Association as well. So they’ve both been helpful.

Well, we always wanted to be at the standard of safety, but we wanted to go a step above that. We do social distancing. We wear gloves, we wear masks, and we check temperatures. 

To this day, we haven’t resumed our pool [for physical therapy] because they haven’t ended the mask mandate. So hopefully, by the middle of next month, people will have records of vaccines, and we’ll be able to enter them into the aquatic program. There’s some places with pools now, but we wouldn’t want anybody to get sick because they came to therapy.

Well, we had to change our schedule. We had to shut one office down. We had to stagger our appointments. We had to change the way we did evaluations and met patients. We also upgraded our sanitation processes.

We want people to come to our physical therapy center and take advantage of what we have to offer. We’re client-focused, and we want them to have good results.

Editors: Khysir Carter, Jillian Bauer-Reese, Solmaira Valerio, Zari Tarazona / Designer: Henry Savage