To Sanitize or Not To Sanitize?
Should you sanitize your wedding or engagement ring to prevent spreading the coronavirus?
We originally published this article in December of 2020, before vaccines and booster shots were readily available. Though preventative measures are widely distributed, the coronavirus pandemic is still relevant and new surges and variants continue to pop up not only all over the world, but also here at home in New Orleans. No matter where you are located, it’s important to continue to be aware of your surroundings and do what you can to help stop the spread of COVID-19. With that in mind, we’re sharing our blog about sanitizing your engagement and wedding rings.
It seems couples in the midst of wedding planning during a global pandemic are unable to avoid a growing list of worries, fears and unforeseen to-do items. Adding to that list is the ever-evolving knowledge we have about what the coronavirus is, how it acts and what we need to do to prevent it.
Earlier in the pandemic days, Martha Stewart Weddings magazine posed the question, “Can the coronavirus live on your engagement ring or wedding band,” after The New York Times reported on research that shows COVID-19 can live on non-porous surfaces and metals for days.
Martha Stewart Weddings took the approach of cleaning a wedding or engagement ring as advised by jewelry experts at Simon G. Jewelry, which you can read here. Since New Orleans is a hotspot for the virus, in April we asked a local physician to weigh in.
“The virus particles that cause disease in humans can survive on many surfaces, including wedding rings,” said George Singletary, local physician, board certified in preventive medicine with an emphasis on epidemiology. (Disclosure: Singletary is married to Renaissance Publishing staff member.)
The thought can be off-putting to many soon-to-be brides and grooms, Singletary says, “When someone is washing their hands on a regular basis, I think that the virus would be mostly removed through this simple action.” Obviously, this scenario assumes the person is washing their hands while wearing the ring or rings.
“In addition, the number of viral particles someone is exposed to can have an effect on how likely they are to develop disease,” Singletary says. “So, even if you weren’t able to get all of the virus off of a ring by hand washing, you would probably get most of the virus off and therefore decrease the chances of passing on infection.”
Though this is something we all should be aware of and take the necessary steps to prevent spreading the infection, Singletary says the bigger concern everyone should be focused on is the close, personal contact of those who have chosen to social distance together.
He assures that the possibility of the virus living on your wedding ring is not a concern people should have – especially if they practice proper cleaning protocols – but more of the sharing of respiratory emissions.
If you are still worried, however, “Let Them Eat Cake” and New Orleans Bride magazine editor Melanie Warner Spencer reported on how to make your own CDC-approved bleach spray and hand sanitizer. This, coupled with washing your hands and taking the proper precautions, should keep you, your wedding rings and your betrothed safe.