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What Have We Learned and What We Know About COVID-19, A Musician's Point of View

The year 2020 has taught us a lot about ourselves, our communities, and our music industry.  I read a very interesting article and thought I would share it in our new DTM Blog.  There are a few excerpts from the article in this blog that deals with some facts as well as predictions about this pandemic.  Let's talk a little bit about what we have learned and what we know about COVID-19.

By now, we should all know what to do to help curve the spread of the pandemic by wearing face masks, washing our hands frequently, and most importantly, social distancing.  Most of us already know that if not feeling well, then, don't go out.  In the Dallas/Fort Worth metropolitan area, COVID testing is readily and easily available, so go get tested once in a while.  If not for yourself, then for others that are around you that you care about.

We have learned that COVID-19 has created a horrible pandemic.  Putting politics aside, this pandemic is being felt all around the world and we know that it can be fatal.  In order to slow the pandemic in the United States; borders, cities, schools, counties, and states across our country have been jeopardized and put a terrible strain on the economy of our nation and at one time or another, have been shut down and closed. .  People have lost loved ones, they have lost their businesses, their livelihood, and their dreams.  Some have made the decision to close their businesses completely and others are struggling just to get by.  Some have put their plans on hold, or delayed them for a "better time", or just simply canceled.  Whatever the reason, it is justified for 2020 for sure.  As an example; Have you put your wedding plans on hold?  Have you put your entertainment events on hold? or canceled them completely?

When will this end?

Recent COVID-19 news has many feeling hopeful for 2021.  Since the beginning of the pandemic we have been asking "when will things get back to normal"? and what will that normal look like?  Although the answers to those questions are still just predictions and not fact, the new year holds promise for better times.  In early December, 2020, the FDA Advisory Committee met to discuss the Pfizer vaccine and in mid December, 2020, the met again to discuss the Moderna vaccine.  Currently, there are other pharma's working on a vaccine as well.  The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines have been approved by the FDA and distribution of the vaccines have started with the administering of two separate doses per person.  Of course everyone cannot be vaccinated at once.  So life won't be totally normal in early 2021.  So what does that timeline look like? and how does that impact your wedding plans or corporate events or municipal outdoor concerts and your 2021 events?  Well, there is some good news from the experts that have roughly laid out a timeline based on the data and here are some predictions by these experts.  

1- Caitlin Rivers - Johns Hopkins epidemiologist

2- Anthony Fauci, M.D. - The nation's top infectious disease expert

3- Moncef Slaoui - The head of the US government's effort to develop a vaccine

After reviewing all of the facts at hand,  the nation's top 3 experts have some predictions, which are based on the current data given to them for review.  Of course, this is subject to change as the vaccine rolls out.  But they're a good starting point for planning your new year, choosing event dates, and setting goals.

December 2020 - January 2021 - Well on it's way into distribution of the vaccine with the first wave going out to those who need it the most: healthcare workers and those living in long-term-care facilities.

February 2021- March 2021 - The second wave of vaccines will be distributed to other high-risk populations, like those over 65 and those with medical conditions that make the more vulnerable to the virus.

April 2021 - June 2021 - A distribution of the vaccine to the rest of the population with priority to those who were not attended to during phases 1 and 2.

August 2021 - December 2021 - By the end of 2021, many experts are predicting a return to some sort of normality.  The specific timelines vary slightly from expert to expert and all are predicting a positive end to the new year.

So what does all of this mean? Life will not be totally normal in 2021.  Even in the later half of 2021, there may still be some restrictions for small gatherings or large gatherings.  When scheduling your events, it is important to maintain proper safety measures, follow local and national guidelines, and keep physical distance between you and your guests.  Remember that a vaccine doesn't mean that COVID-19 won't exist any more.  But it will significantly reduce the spread and the risk.  

How does COVID-19 effect the music industry?

The year 2020 has taught us a lot about ourselves, our communities, and our music industry.  We are all looking and creating various ways to express our music.  Either as a single artist, or a band, we want to continue with our expression of music and share our talent with you.  We love being on that big stage.   We in the music industry miss performing for crowds and our fans.  The band feeds off the energy of the crowd and the crowd feeds off the music experience.  In a way, people challenge us to play better, to perform better, and reach that performance high.  But, how do we do this today?  There are virtual concerts, music videos, live feeds and much more working through the magic of media.  Media has been around for many years and now in 2020 "media" is the "thing"; it's what's happening; it keeps us informed and it is our entertainment outlet when there are no public places to go.  Technology is rapidly changing on a daily basis.  There is an unlimited amount of resources available today for artists to express themselves through media.  

Setting up for a video shoot, or a music video, or even a live feed; takes time and preparation behind the scenes.  It takes hours to get the staging and lighting set, backline equipment ready, check audio signals, test video signals and much more.  All of this to shoot for a possible 4 minute video, or an hour of live stream video.  There are a lot of people involved in this process.  So when you come across a live feed, or youtube video, or a video submission and those artists/bands are posting on their page a venmo account, or paypal app; please take the time to show them that you are watching, you are loving it, and by the way, appreciate them by sending them a few bucks here and there. 

Musicians do not vanish.  Bands do not vanish.  They may fade away, but they are always true musicians and are skillful at their trade.   All of us are more than ready to perform for your events.  Health and safety protocols are a priority.  Not only for you and your guests, but also for the band members, and their crew.  If you decide to hire a band for an event and there is nothing mentioned in their contract (either verbal or written) about a health and safety protocol, then you may want to take another look and decide if this is right for your event, your guests, and even your family.  We all should abide by the local and national guidelines.  We as musicians and bands can still provide a great musical experience, and do it very well.  It will be an event that everyone will remember for years to come, especially knowing that all protocols were a priority. 

Glenn Lightford

Band Leader

Don't Tell Mama

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