I’m a bluegrass musician, but I am also an elected local official. In the latter capacity I get access to the latest information from our state government about the virus. Two world-class virus experts are constituents living in my community with whom I regularly interact. I also sit on committees at UCSD Medical School, reviewing all the UCSD covid research. I’m not a doc, but here’s what I know:
- It’s for real this health emergency. Stay at home except for essential outings. Practice social distancing. There are no proven treatments. The only tools we have that work are social distancing, hand washing, and enhanced sanitation.
- Prepare for a long haul. The crisis won’t be over until we have a vaccine that works and is widely distributed, or until we build equivalent “herd immunity.” This will be a year to 18 months, perhaps longer.
- Know that the science community is working double time to develop treatments and cures, and that we have the best and brightest right here in San Diego, but it takes time. Doing it right matters. Doing it wrong is dangerous. For example, the latest research shows that Hydroxychloroquine, touted by the president, is not beneficial and actually increases incidents of death and can cause heart arrhythmias.
- Prepare for gradual reopening until we get to immunity. Beaches with restrictions, limited gatherings, and so on. The governor indicates concerts and large gatherings are unlikely through at least August.
- Expect a second and potential third peak this fall and next winter, especially if we open things too soon or backslide on social distancing.
- While in lockdown tend to your mental as well as physical health. Walk your neighborhood. Exercise at home. Read a good book. Spend time with your dog.
- Play your instruments.
- Listen to and participate in music online. Take an online lesson. Stay in touch with friends, family and music colleagues though online services.
- Music was invented to get us through tough times, so partake.
- If you are a gigging musician working as an independent contractor know that during the crisis you can qualify for unemployment benefits under the federal CARES Act (the $2.2 trillion covid bill passed by the federal government) as it is implemented in California.
- Here’s a link to the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) website where you can access information on how to get unemployment and other benefits for musicians: https://musiccovidrelief.com/
- Here’s a link to the IBMA website chock full of resources, including on unemployment, for bluegrass musicians: https://ibma.org/bluegrass-community-resources-during-covid-19/
- Here’s a link to the IBMA calendar of on-line bluegrass concerts: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1msC13oMTmzb_pA3zQ9ld6HcBtjFQfq-77wPELBsRIKI/edit#gid=0
- Here’s a link to the American Banjo Museum data base of bluegrass instructors for online lessons: https://rachel0263.wixsite.com/onlinelessondatabase
- Use the Resources provided by your Troubadour online.
UPDATE ON CONCERTS
All SDBS and NCBFC events are cancelled pending further word. Bluegrass Day at the Fair (June 7) has been cancelled. Summergrass (August 14-16) is under review. Visit the Summergrass website for updates: https://summergrass.net.