LIFE AFTER COVID
by Rob Taylor Jr.
Courier Staff Writer
When people look good, it, oftentimes, makes them feel good.
Tenel Dorsey is the owner of Dreamz Hair Salon and Barber Shop in Homestead, who tells the New Pittsburgh Courier that, all things considered, “business is good” because Dreamz is in the business of making people look and feel good.
Dreamz was located for 17 years at the beginning of Homestead, 100 E. 8th Ave. But Dorsey said it was a win-win situation by moving shop to 216 E. 7th Ave. A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held, July 26, to mark the occasion.
But for Dorsey, moving her salon wasn’t the only thing she dealt with this year. It was a scary moment back in March when she learned that she had tested positive for COVID-19. Her son also had the virus, along with her significant other. She believes the three could have contracted it after a family trip to Detroit. “Dorsey and Co.” were among the first people to contract the virus in Allegheny County.
DREAMZ HAIR SALON AND BARBER SHOP celebrates the grand re-opening of its new location, 216 E. 7th Ave., Homestead, July 26.
HOMESTEAD MAYOR BETTY ESPER, right, made an appearance at Dreamz for their grand re-opening. She’s pictured with Jou-Al Burwell.
“How did this happen to us, of all people?” Dorsey recalled. But Dorsey thanked God for her minor symptoms, and her son had barely any symptoms. Dorsey’s significant other, however, had pneumonia in both lungs. He has since made a full recovery. The Courier is not identifying Dorsey’s son or significant other.
COVID-19, after all these months, still lingers in Allegheny County. At times it rears its unnoticeable ugly head; other times, not a peep. For example, on Oct. 3, the county reported 38 COVID cases. The next, day, Oct. 4, another 38. But on Oct. 5, the cases number skyrocketed to 126.
African Americans continue to be affected by coronavirus at disproportionate rates in Allegheny County. As of Oct. 16, Blacks accounted for at least 2,886 (20 percent) of the 13,821 total cases in the county. Blacks account for 14 percent of the county’s population.
In Allegheny County, 403 people have died from coronavirus, as of Oct. 16; 68 of them were Black (17 percent).
For Dorsey, her positive COVID test is far in the rear view mirror. It’s time to focus on the now, and the future. The fall is here, holidays are approaching, and people are constantly making calls into Dreamz looking to make an appointment. While a trip to the salon isn’t as big a priority as someone’s light bill or rent payment, it’s still a priority to many people.
“People don’t want to look bad,” Dorsey said.
TENEL DORSEY is owner of Dreamz Hair Salon and Barber Shop in Homestead. (Photos by Courier photographer Dayna Delgado)