Question: What is COVID-19?
Answer: COVID-19 is a Coronavirus that spread into a global pandemic.
COVID-19 is a type of Coronavirus that was discovered in 2019. As of 2020 it is widely believed to most likely have originated from bats and spread amongst animals at an exotic animal market in Wuhan, China. The virus spread from animals to humans, then to other humans very quickly. The infection rate has been so high that a global pandemic soon had entire cities in many countries going into lockdown status. Shutting down the majority of many countries caused extreme economic repercussions worldwide. After several months of the virus infecting millions and killing hundreds of thousands there is still no cure.
The most effective method of reducing the chance of transmission is for people to distance themselves from others. Those infected are advised to quarantine for fourteen days. The incubation period varies from a couple days to several days in most cases. Maintaining a minimum distance of six feet from other people at all times has become a new social norm to lower the risk of transmission.
A dangerous aspect not early understood is that carriers of COVID-19 can be asymptomatic. This means an individual can be infected and pass the virus on, even when the carrier experiences no symptoms. One asymptomatic person can kill thousands without ever knowing they were the source of the spread.
Even when remaining at least six feet apart during your social distancing, masks are advised and required in many places. Any type of face covering is advised and considered to be far safer than wearing no mask. Since not everyone has access to the same types of face coverings they can't all be handled the same way but you are supposed to wash your hands prior to handling your mask before you put it on, after you put it on and before you take it off and after you take it off. You are also supposed to only handle the mask by the ear loops instead of grabbing and possibly infecting the part that covers your breathing orifices.
Following local gathering mandates can be confusing. Counties and cities often have different rules for how many people are allowed in a given location at once. In some places gatherings have been limited to ten or fewer people. Some establishments are limited to twenty five percent of their capacity. These limitations have inconvenienced the lives of most Americans and have even led to many small businesses permanently closing. The goal is safety so erring on the safe side is wise.
Most sports organizations, schools, music tours, and other large crowd gatherings have been totally cancelled for the majority of 2020. However, many places have ended or lessened their lockdown rules so that gatherings large and small have been becoming more commonplace.
The Matt McCallie Orchestra has been entertaining small events during the pandemic. We will only perform in compliance with local and federal mandates to ensure the safety of our musicians, roadies, and audiences. When in close proximity to others we wear masks while not on stage and we prefer that others around us take the same precautions.
One of the simplest ways to provide safer performances is to separate the stage from the audience. Having musicians perform from further away than usual is in most instances a very doable safety measure. For voice and guitar performances we recommend spending the additional cost for amplification so the music can still be heard from a greater distance.
Most of our wedding clients have either cancelled or postponed until 2021. But it is still possible to have a wonderful intimate nuptial with a more selective guest list. Here are a few tips for our new normal:
• You can still have live music! Hire a smaller ensemble for your ceremony and reception. Instead of a
string quartet have a solo violinist. Instead of a band maybe hire a one man band who can sing and self-accompany on guitar and or piano.
• Skip the reception line and wait to thank your guests for joining in your celebration at once during speeches and toasts.
• Seat your guests at large tables far apart. Far enough that no one could accidentally grab the wrong water glass or utensils.
• Avoid a buffet where people could bunch up in a line and possibly contaminate food and dish ware. Have meals served to each individual at their seats.
• Make the dance floor very large. Don't make or encourage people to get closer than six feet from each other except for people who already live together. The safest option would be to forego open dancing with more of a concert environment from your entertainment or more speeches from guests.