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What to do: Jewelry artists, how to handle touching and trying-on considering the Covid situation?

So, whether or not we may be ready, different places are loosening the shelter in place restrictions.  Not sure when art fairs will be happening for sure or not,  but I'm starting to think about how it will work when customers are actually looking for jewelry again at art fairs.  Has anyone had any thoughts about how to protect ourselves and customers?  Do you think it's going to be possible?  I'm still having a hard time accepting that I'm "elderly" and "high risk!  LOL  Seriously, how will we handle it? I live in Indianapolis where we have a bunch of Covid cases.  How do we handle it when we go to another area where their Covid cases are either many more, or many fewer.  I'm apprehensive, no lying, and feel some responsibility to try to keep from exposing others as well as protecting myself. Anyone else having these thoughts? 

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Comment by Kathleen J. Clausen on May 20, 2020 at 6:18pm

It does.  Thank you.

Comment by Keith Phillips on May 20, 2020 at 12:40pm

Kathleen, the Germ Cide X was recommended to me and I looked at all of the reviews I could find on compact portable ultraviolet lights used for sanitizing to make sure that the recommended brand and type I purchased was the best out there. This one was what I felt is the top rated one I found for the money. It's safe to use because it has the light on the underside of the wand and the top of the unit shields you and the individuals near you from the harmful ultraviolet rays while using it. I do wear nitrile gloves since the fingers could be exposed from holding the unit. Never look into the light or wave it around when others are near, but it's shielded from the top to allow you to safely use it without protective eyewear. Whatever unit you decide on, it should be a UV-C unit, and it needs to be held close as possible to the item you're disinfecting for 20 seconds to ensure that the item is completely sanitized. I hope this helps.

Comment by Kathleen J. Clausen on May 19, 2020 at 5:53pm

Keith, when I was looking into UVC, it seemed that there were a few rather involved precautions so that people in the area would not be injured.  What is the process for using the UVC  light, and how long does it take?

Comment by Keith Phillips on May 19, 2020 at 5:36pm

I agree that hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes and masks are critical to help provide a level of assurance that the vendor and their customers need to feel safe in the booths. Unfortunately, not all surfaces can be adequately disinfected with hand sanitizer or disinfectant wipes, and just having someone put a mask on when they enter your booth does not ensure that they haven't just coughed or sneezed without covering their mouth or nose prior to entering your booth.  This potentially leaves the surfaces that hand sanitizers aren't used on, and that your jewelery comes in contact with, contaminated. That makes the combined use of hand sanitizer, masks, and other proven methods of sanitation for those items in your booth that are critical for your continued good health and that of your potential customers. That's why I've gone to a UV-C ultraviolet light to sanitize items that cannot effectively be cleaned with disinfectant wipes and hand sanitizer, such as jewelry cards and necklaces. It's a non-detrimental method of disinfecting those items. UV-C Ultraviolet lights are used extensively by the hospital my daughter works in as a nurse, to disinfect their phones when arriving at work and before leaving.

Comment by Mckenna Hallett on May 15, 2020 at 3:44pm

Hand sanitizer - lots of if!

Masks for all. (And do not touch your face! Ever again! LOL)

The uv thing wouldn't convince me that I was safe. As stated there are a lot of "fake" ones on the market and as a "kupuna" (elderly in Hawaii) I must have total assurance. Sanitizer is a proven and tactile experience and the recommended best practice.

Insist they use hand sanitizer (that you provide) BEFORE they enter your area and touch anything. That means they are now safe to touch your jewelry with "clean hands" at that point in their history.

They should want hand sanitizer as they leave your area so they are secure in knowing that whatever they did touch has been neutralized as they continue on their way.

Consider offering them hand sanitizer before they touch/sign your screen which should always be cleaned with a wipe before presenting (you remain holding the phone) it to them to sign.

Even better: get one of those pens used on screens. Like they have at stores. Easy to clean before and after they use it.

By the way, the credit card can easily be an air "touch" method - they just hover their card over your payment square. It's built into squareup's system when you use the table top "block".

But even the swipe is something they can do while you hold your phone. We all swipe/insert our cards ourselves in normal retail settings.

Just remember: While the virus is spread in the air, but the main transfer is hand to mouth/nose/eye areas.

This "new normal" will still have some risk, but the risks are minimal with social distancing and masks. Throw some hand sanitizer into the mix and you are eliminating almost all of the risk.

Just my humble opinion, BUT:If someone wants to see your work and has chosen not to wear a mask, just say no. Especially for jewelry that will be handled extensively through-out the day.

Hopefully, fair organizers will require masks. Frankly, if they do not, I would avoid doing that fair.

Comment by Kathleen J. Clausen on May 15, 2020 at 12:29pm

Hi everyone.  I am so grateful for everyone's responses. Lots of good suggestions.  I did a little research about the handheld UV lights for sanitation. I read an article from BBC Forum.  I learned a lot about UV light.  Who knew that there were 3 kinds?  I learned how the light destroys viruses.  And I learned that the most dangerous UV light is the one that kills the viruses.  If you are thinking of using UV light for sanitation, please do a little research.  Some of the companies selling the handheld wands are claiming to kill the viruses, but only UVC light will do so.  Please do a little reading on your own, don't just take the light sellers' claims as gospel.

Comment by Chris Carlson on May 15, 2020 at 9:15am

Just this morning I read a wonderful article in The New Yorker entitled, Amid the Coronavirus Crisis, A Regimen for Reentry. I hope every art show director reads it and considers this when advertising their show - promote the use of masks among both artists and attendees.  Instead of the usual promotional materials I see at shows - like fans or brochures, give attendees a mask - maybe it can have a sponsor’s name or logo. Artists have long been both influencers and reflections of culture - let’s see if we can plant the seed to make masks cool if wearing them is to be the new normal. Cool  masks can go into Patron gift bags - maybe along with the show’s poster artist the design can be translated to a mask. Art show visitors are probably more likely to be willing to conform to a request to wear masks than a lot of other assembled groups. If the show organizers and promoters get on board and provide them, I think it will go a long way to help. Aside from that, national advertising campaigns to make masks “cool” can possibly appeal to a broader or different group than promoting masks as a public health issue. We may not need them forever, but until there’s a vaccine, masks are better protection than any other option because they reduce the source of transmission droplets. We could ask shows to ask their sponsors to help in providing them as a starting point.

Comment by Patricia Zabreski Venaleck on May 14, 2020 at 9:49pm

But I want to see comments by someone who has had shows and is selling jewelry.  Is it really worth going out.

Comment by Patricia Zabreski Venaleck on May 14, 2020 at 7:18pm

Yes I am worried about Jewelry also.  I’m cancelling some shows because I don’t even think anyone wants to go to shows.  No one wants to touch jewelry now.  Even if you have alcohol,  they will just pass by your booth.  Until we get a vaccine I think jewelry artists are screwed.  Has anyone been selling jewelry out there that can say they are doing good?????? Let me know?????

Comment by Chris Carlson on May 14, 2020 at 2:58pm

These are great ideas!  I just looked at the UV portable sanitizer - it looks like a great option - and I might even find some of my stones are fluorescent! Never realized getting a signature was optional in person-perfect. Kathleen, your initial post is coming up with all kinds of solutions-thank you.  I really can’t wipe down my jewelry with sanitizers or alcohol other than earring wires - can’t imagine using the stuff on pearls, coral, turquoise....but UV could do the trick. Maybe I’ll embellish a mask, too....

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