The Corona Virus has now reached a pandemic level and is effecting people’s regular routines globally such as Italy on a self imposed isolation phase or the US closing it’s border to Europeans. This is an unprecedented time and a time which has cause for people to increase their safety precautions such as working remotely, washing their hands more frequently or stocking up on canned goods. In terms of tattooing there has been little guidance from governments and the Tattoo industry have been proactive and complied with advice such as the cancelling of Tattoo conventions like Mondial du Tatouage . The majority of Tattoo shops are remaining open with increased hygiene procedures until instructed otherwise. Due to blood borne pathogens, respectable tattoo shops have some of the most hygienic and sterile environments out there and with some increased procedures it should be possible to still get tattooed with both the tattooer and the client staying safe. If you have a tattoo appointment scheduled in the next few weeks we have put together some tips to ensure your ongoing safety:
Don’t Get Tattooed If Your Sick
Without doubt this is the most important thing to consider with the spread of COVID-19. If you show any symptoms of illness or have recently travelled to an infected area or been in the company of anyone who has, don’t even contemplate getting a tattoo at this time. It is not worth the risk of yours or the tattooers health.
Washing Your Hands
A lot of shops have extra hand sanitizers and are asking customers to wash their hands on entry and exit of studios. Considering the amount of times we touch our face during the day we should increase the frequency with which we wash our hands. In addition to washing our hands we should avoid handshaking as a greeting for the foreseeable future.
Ensure Your Tattooer is Following Proper Hygiene Protocols
Tattooing involves a lot of bio-hazardous materials. Only get tattooed in shops that have a safe way of disposing of this material. Cables, soap bottles and the artists work station should be covered in a protective plastic covering which should be changed after each client. All massage tables, machines should be cleaned down with a disinfectant and if your artist is using metal tubes they should be cleaned in the autoclave. Your artist should be wearing gloves at all times to protect both you and the artist.
Coming To Your Appointment Alone
Governments have tried to minimise contact through social movement at this time and have a recommended social distance of 6 ft. With this in mind it is not a good idea to be accompanied to your appointment. With each additional person in the studio it increases the risk of spreading the virus.
Dealing With Sneezing And Coughing
Sneezing and coughing has been indentified as a clear way to spread the virus through droplets landing on a person or contaminating the area. If you need to sneeze or cough try to let your artist know in advance so they can stop working. Try cough or sneeze into your elbow to prevent cross contaminating surfaces through touching with your hands. After coughing or sneezing dispose of the tissue immediately and wash your hands.
Reschedule Your Appointment If Needed
The majority of tattooers are self employed and in this time of heightened fear it has already effected the demand of their services. If you need to cancel or reschedule your appointment due to illness or symptoms showing the majority of shops will be accommodating but try to give as much advance notice so they can give the available spot to another customer. Don’t put your artist at risk by travelling into work for no reason because you don’t bother to let them know you aren’t coming.
Phones And Devices
Phones and devices can be a way to be entertained through a long Tattoo session but they also can be a breathing ground for germs. Try avoid using your phone during your session and disinfect it regularly using wipes to keep it sanitized.
Tattooing can still be done safely at this time just by following the above simple rules. Remember for everyone’s safety If you feel slightly sick don’t put everybody at risk to get a tattoo which can be done at a later time.