SCOTT SIMON, HOST:
Loads of companies have been pressured to shut to restrict the unfold of the coronavirus, together with tattoo outlets. However in some jurisdictions, tattoos are protected underneath the First Modification as a type of free expression. A number of California tattoo store homeowners sued the state to reopen. They misplaced their case. However Tiffany Garcia-Mitchell, who owns Black Raven Tattoo, was a part of the lawsuit, and she or he joins us now from Lengthy Seaside, Calif. Thanks a lot for being with us.
TIFFANY GARCIA-MITCHELL: No downside, Scott. How are you doing?
SIMON: Effectively, how are you doing? How’s enterprise?
GARCIA-MITCHELL: Effectively, we’re imagined to be shut down at this level, so there is no such thing as a enterprise.
SIMON: What was on the coronary heart of your lawsuit?
GARCIA-MITCHELL: The guts of it was our First Modification proper. Tattooing is a protected artwork type underneath the Structure, and so that is what we had been focusing on to make sure that we will proceed to, you recognize, preserve and function underneath our, you recognize, protected constitutional rights.
SIMON: The district decide within the tattoo parlor case mentioned that of their judgment, COVID-19 restrictions did not goal free speech protections however that public well being considerations had been overriding. I’m wondering the way you react to that.
GARCIA-MITCHELL: Effectively, similar to everyone else, you recognize, we take the virus very significantly. Now we have a priority for the virus and security. However as in different circumstances, you recognize, the U.S. Supreme Court docket has been quoted as saying the U.S. Structure shouldn’t be put aside or forgotten even throughout a pandemic. So if the U.S. Supreme Court docket finds that the Structure needs to be protected and upheld always, then so will we.
SIMON: Yeah. You had been open for a number of weeks, I collect, final 12 months and took some steps that you simply thought made your companies safer, proper?
GARCIA-MITCHELL: Sure. We would put up obstacles, added on additional rooms for stations that had been semiprivate and labored with one other firm to develop an app. So we went fully paperless for our deposit kinds and our waivers.
SIMON: However nonetheless, it is a close-contact enterprise, is not it? There’s simply no method round it. It is a tattoo.
GARCIA-MITCHELL: True, there’s extended contact individual to individual, and there completely is not any method round it. However since we needed to go paperless, it has been very straightforward to doc from the time that we had been open what number of purchasers we truly noticed. And I calculate that we noticed practically 700 purchasers and nonetheless haven’t one single an infection between artist to consumer or consumer to artist or between artists.
SIMON: That discovering is sort of incomplete, although, is not it? There is perhaps individuals who would take a look at constructive however are, thus far, asymptomatic.
GARCIA-MITCHELL: Completely. There’s all types of variables concerned. But it surely’s simply to our information, no one’s contacted us to say, hey, I went to your store and now I am constructive. We have not had any constructive exams amongst us, and we have all examined as properly, simply to be on the protected facet.
SIMON: I’ve to ask, most of us on our present employees have been working remotely, and a few employees members have mentioned that they’ve gotten pandemic tattoos. Is that your expertise? Are there individuals selecting sure designs for pandemics if you had been open?
GARCIA-MITCHELL: The general public which have gotten tattooed wish to give attention to happier days and issues that they miss, whether or not they’ve misplaced a pet through the pandemic, or lots of people have gotten, you recognize, Disney tattoos as a result of they really feel, you recognize, they have not been capable of go to Disneyland. They miss it, they usually simply need to take a look at one thing that reminds them of that happier time.
SIMON: Tiffany Garcia-Mitchell of Lengthy Seaside, Calif., thanks a lot for being with us.
GARCIA-MITCHELL: You are very welcome.
(SOUNDBITE OF JENS LEKMAN SONG, “A POSTCARD TO NINA”) Transcript supplied by NPR, Copyright NPR.