COVID & Me!
Oy, where to even start. I guess from the beginning.
So, on March 16th the San Francisco Bay Area began sheltering in place. This blog was posted on August 7th, meaning it has been 144 days since the start of this strange time. Before shelter in place began, I watched my spring performance calendar perish over a 48 hour period on the 9th and 10th of March. I moved my studio online once I got wind the schools where I teach were closing down after the 13th. Come this summer, I graduated four seniors, and my studio shrank further with more students taking the summer off. I've lost 100% of my performance work through the end of 2020, and my teaching studio is down by 50%.
I've been in numerous player committee meetings since this all began. I'm actually busier now than before COVID-19 because of all the committee meetings. Classical musicians were saved in the spring by PPP loans. As we exit the traditionally slow summer season, fall playing work that normally revitalizes our bank accounts is nowhere to be seen. Concerts are a part of phase four reopening, so my assumption is there will not be any concerts until fall of 2021. We probably have to go another 12 months before we can return to playing.
Meanwhile, I just read in the news this morning (July 31st) that the Senate has adjourned until Monday (August 3rd) meaning the extra $600 in unemployment from the federal government will lapse. Many of my colleagues have depended on that $600 to scrape by. Not really sure what next steps will be. I hate to think what my colleagues on the commercial side have been enduring. Independent artists have been revamping their delivery method, and I've seen many turn to streaming in the short term. I have no idea how this coming fall and winter will treat these musical entrepreneurs (not well).
Yes, this is a pity party post. Y'all love hearing about folks' successes; well, its our turn to share our failures. You can't have your cake and eat it too.