UPDATE: Due to restricted international freight service, I will not be able to ship outside of Germany until further notice. I hope that this suspension is temporary and that I will be able to resume international shipping soon. Until then, you are welcome to purchase my jewelry directly from Ontogenie at Shapeways.
In light of the current COVID19 crisis, I would like to answer some questions you might have about my business.
1. Is it safe to order from Ontogenie?
Yes, I believe so. My company is located in Germany, a country that currently has close to 10,000 cases of coronavirus infection. No one in my family is infected (thank goodness) and my business is run out of my home. We are practicing social distancing in Germany, but luckily we are still able to leave our houses. Grocery stores, pharmacies, medical offices and the post office are all still open.
The World Health Organization reports that the coronavirus can exist on surfaces for several hours to several days. However, according to the WHO, receiving a package from an area where COVID19 has been reported is most likely safe:
The likelihood of an infected person contaminating commercial goods is low and the risk of catching the virus that causes COVID-19 from a package that has been moved, travelled, and exposed to different conditions and temperature is also low.
Source: World Health Organization Q&A
My packages are delivered by Deutsche Post (the national postal service of Germany) to the national postal service of your country. Transit requires roughly 3 days within Germany, and 5-10 days outside of Germany. It is unlikely that after this transit time that there will be live virus on the package originating from my home or the post office in Jena, Germany. There is a very small possiblity that the package could acquire surface contamination on the way to you. If you are concerned, I would recommend accepting the package, washing your hands, and then either disinfecting the surface of the package before opening it or putting the package in a several day quarantine somewhere where it won't be touched.
2. Will my package by delayed?
It's very likely. According to Deutsche Post, international deliveries could be delayed due to changes in the transport process including lengthy border checks, the discontinuation of flight connections previously used for transport, and safety procedures in the destination country. This could affect how long it takes for your package to transit from Jena to your location. I will be checking the Deutsche Post website daily, and if you have placed an order that will likely be delayed, I will contact you.
My 3D printing service may experience difficulty producing and shipping my jewelry. I have many pieces already in stock, however. I would urge you to check which materials and designs are in stock (shown on the product listing) and can be shipped within 1-2 days. Please choose those options instead of out of stock pieces as I can't guarantee that the out of stock pieces will be produced and shipped in a timely manner. If it looks like your order will experience a lengthy delay, I will be happy to refund your order completely.
3. What am I doing during the pandemic?
Reading books (the Passion Economy by Adam Davidson has reinforced my pride in my tiny cottage business), enjoying family time, taking walks in the forest, listening to podcasts, and disinfecting door handles and faucets. I am also working on two paleontology designs, Archaeopteryx and crinoids. These are both technically challenging designs and I have to be in my creative zone to work on them, but I'm hopeful they'll be done soon. In addition to that, I'm letting my cats outside, letting them inside, letting them outside, letting them inside. Plenty to keep me busy. I hope you're keeping busy, too.
If you have questions that I haven't answered, please feel free to contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org. I would love to hear from you. --Kimberly