With the recent spread of COVID-19, the novel coronavirus that's caused a global pandemic, health and government officials have advised taking various precautions to stay safe. The Center for Disease Control says that the most effective — and simplest — ways to prevent the spread of the virus are by washing your hands, avoiding touching your face, and covering your mouth when you sneeze or cough.
But the outbreak has many other social and economic implications, from how we shop to whether or not it's necessary to cancel appointments, especially for tattoos and piercings — especially as tomorrow is Friday the 13th, a popular day for getting new ink when many studios host events or offer flash deals.
As a response, popular New York City tattoo shop West 4 Tattoo took a break from sharing its Friday the 13th art offerings to roll out safety precautions to their clients, including washing hands and limiting the number of people brought along to appointments. Fleur Noire Tattoo, also in New York City, says its doors are still open during regular business hours, but advised clients who recently travelled to high-risk areas to cancel or reschedule.
However, New York City-based dermatologist Joshua Zeichner says it's best to steer clear for now. "I would avoid new piercings and new tattoos to be safe," he says. "I also would encourage people to take off and clean their jewellery, particularly rings." As Dr Zeichner explains, dirt, oil, and microbes can get trapped beneath rings and potentially spread infections.
Dr Zeichner's takeaway is clear: Navigating this unprecedented situation can feel chaotic, but channelling stress into a new tattoo or piercing might not be the best idea.