| Naming Ceremony | Wedding
I love bubbles! There is nothing more
magical than the sun shining off floating bubbles,
highlighting the subtle rainbow embedded in each
They are my go-to suggestion when
wedding venues will not allow throwing of petals,
confetti, or rice. In fact, I love bubbles so much
that I often suggest that you don't just save them
for the recessional (your formal walk out) but have
your wedding party walk in through a cloud of
and have bubbles behind you while
you are signing the certificates.
So it came as a bit of a shock to read a very
confronting headline in a US newspaper: "Prevent
Coronavirus Infections: Leave the Soap Bubble
Blowers Alone Until the Coronavirus Pandemic Is
Bubbles and viruses
The argument in that article is that bubble blowing
is dangerous and risky because it might
transmit the COVID-19 virus. This idea comes from a
1977 study of the way bubbles from the surf carry
virus to the sea's surface and propel them into the
Recent research into the physics of bubbles, carried
out at the Massachusetts Institute of
Technology has found that, when bubbles become laced
with bacteria, they become a bio-weapon capable of
spreading that bacteria over long distances. How
this works is that the waste products of the
bacteria (basically, bacterium poop) allow the
bubbles to be thinner than uninfected bubbles,
so they can travel further and emit many more
droplets when they burst.
However, viruses are different from bacteria
They don't make waste the way bacteria do. Which
raises the question: Will the detergent in bubble
solution kill the COVID-19 virus given that we've
been told that 20 seconds of scrubbing or vigorous
hand washing removes the outer protective layer of
the virus and annihilates it? The answer to that
question is that we just don't know. As you can
imagine, whether bubbles are risky or not is a
question is nowhere near the top of the research
agenda at the moment.
Should we avoid bubbles in
At best, I think we should consider that bubble
solution’s destructive effect on viruses may be open
to question. But we should also consider that the
capacity of a bubble to travel more than 1.5 meters
certainly isn't. An infected person may well release
infected droplets into the bubbles they blow. But
blowing bubbles by mouth is not the only way to
produce them. Bubble wands that create larger
bubbles when you wave them, rather than the small
"wedding" bubble wands that have to be blown onto to
produce tiny bubbles are one answer. Using a bubble
machine is another.
Bubbles and children
Children love bubbles. So one of my go-to activities
for a naming ceremony where many children will be
present is bubbles blessing. Children surround the
baby being named and, as I say some blessing words,
blow bubbles towards the baby. Everyone loves it.
When it comes to children, there are some perennial
safety issues with bubbles. To avoid having to
call the Poisons Centre, it is wise to
- Purchase big bubble wands that need to be
waved to make the bubbles rather than the ditsy
little wedding bubbles that need a vigorous
blowing through a tiny ring. Bubble wands make
sure that the solution is kept away from mouths.
- If you make
your own bubble solution use detergent
that is made for hand washing dishes, not a
dishwasher or washing machine
- If you buy concentrated detergent, dilute it
according to the manufacturer's instructions,
and use the minimum amount of diluted liquid.
- Don't put bubble solution in anything that
would normally be used to drink out of.
Children's sense of taste is not that
well-developed so a child might take a hefty
swig before anyone realises what has happened.
Thanks for reading!