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Dirty-South Blues Harp forum: wail on! > Heavy Breathers and Covid
Heavy Breathers and Covid
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2944 posts
Dec 17, 2020
8:17 AM
I am afraid to play my harmonica in public.
This sucks.
Can’t go outside, condensation will clog my chromatic.
Looking forward to a time when we can all breathe easy.
Happy holidays to all you heavy breathers.
PS I am moving from San Diego to Oklahoma, making things worse. That’s life!
3291 posts
Dec 17, 2020
8:23 AM
We may be incredibly lucky, or it may be some other factor. We've been here in Texas Hill country, Marblehead Ohio, and Vidalia Louisiana just across the river from Natchez Mississippi, and we have yet to even meet anyone who has or had Crap19. We have not been sick in any fashion. We played a pool party in Vidalia and busked in Natchez several times, and played a 150 year old saloon there. We're back in Fredericksburg where we've played a bistro and busked several times among the shoppers and sightseers on Main Street. People wear masks mostly. January will find uus playing a couple of places as well, and March will see us playing a local festival nearby.

We feel like now more than ever, people need the lightness music can afford. Synergy.

We stay clean and observe distancing as much as possible and wear masks in stores. Otherwise we refuse to become minions of the Matrix.

Music and travel destroy prejudice.





Last Edited by jbone on Dec 17, 2020 8:26 AM
2945 posts
Dec 17, 2020
8:55 AM
It is not my intention to have this thread veer off into the weeds, but again, that’s life.
One out of every three COVID fatalities occurred in long term care settings. That is a shame, plain and simple. These are our parents, who protected and nurtured us.
I won’t go into my personal situation in any more detail, except to say that I am doing what I can to stay safe.
My first post was a reflection of how I feel, since this virus is easily spread thru breath, playing an instrument in public that could act as a spreader is off limits.
Nobody knows who has it.
I don’t consider this to be off topic.
Thanks for your response, stay well and take care of Jolene.
382 posts
Dec 17, 2020
9:12 AM
Minions of the Matrix?
816 posts
Dec 17, 2020
1:49 PM
Oklahoma is a great state. You'll like it.
Wisdom does not always come with old age. Sometimes old age arrives alone.
2946 posts
Dec 17, 2020
2:37 PM
Norman is my hometown, I am pretty sure I will find a lot to like there.
Thanks for the positive energy!
10327 posts
Dec 18, 2020
1:07 PM
My friend's grandmother had it. She got home from the hospital a few days ago. And of course Sterling had it. People at my brother's store have had it. People at my friend's school have had it. I've got a home health aid who comes in once a week for a couple hours. She had it. We always mask up when she is here. Her whole family got it. Her blood ox level was in the mid 80s. She refused to go to the hospital because she was afraid they intubate her. She's better now. I had to quarantine because of being exposed to her.

I did something stupid this week. I was really sick to the point where I collapsed at home. Symptom wise it seemed more like food poisoning so despite collapsing I didn't call my doctor. (I'd already seen her the day before for a covid test, that came back negative and I'm much better now). I didn't call the doctor because I didn't want to go to the hospital because I was pretty sure it was food poisoning.

Something like 17 million Americans have had covid so far. That means about 1 in 20 people. Many people don't know they had it and many people won't tell you, particularly in areas where everyone is screaming it's a hoax. People you know have had covid. You may not know people who have died from covid but unless you are a hermit you know people who have had covid. It only takes one person to get an infection going in an area. It's very likely you've actually been in proximity, hopefully with a mask, with someone with covid. When I was in quarantine they explained the contact tracing rules... anyone I was within 6 feet of, even with a mask, for more than 10 minutes. They talk about viral load... the body can probably deal with one or two bits of virus no problem, you get a few hundred it can reproduce faster than your body can fight it (at least until your body learns how to fight it.)

The vaccine is on the way. I know some people depend on shows for their livelihood, but try to avoid the public as much as possible. For some people, it's not that bad. Be safe for the other people. You never know who you might infect. Some states that are allowing some shows are banning singing and wind instruments. We have a very small instrument. Our breath isn't going very far and our reeds make a nice aerosol out of our breath. As a vector we are just about perfect.

Be safe everyone, and remember the scale of this. This has now killed more people in America than live in my entire county... which, while not someplace like NYC is still a metropolitan area. It's like 3 of the worlds largest stadiums filled with people or 6 average baseball stadiums filled with people it's killed, and rates are spiking. No one thinks they are going to be the next superspreader, but someone is. Let's try to have as few of those as possible.

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First Post- May 8, 2009
2327 posts
Dec 18, 2020
10:32 PM
Best of luck in Norman, Gary.
Thievin' Heathen
1231 posts
Dec 19, 2020
10:02 AM
If we're lucky Camille will be back out singing around Norman again soon.
30 posts
Dec 19, 2020
10:08 AM
I think we draw more than blow so not much in the way of germs but my sax player started getting complaints about germs so now we are shut down. Might not even get back together. He is very sad but it is the reality of it all I guess.
246 posts
Dec 19, 2020
3:41 PM
The resurgence of live music and those who gig for most of their money will depend on masking and vaccination. The summer of 2021 will probably be better than last summer. However, the fall of 2021 and beyond will really depend on how many people get vaccinated, with 70-80% of the population needed for herd immunity.
3292 posts
Dec 20, 2020
3:49 AM
So Gary, I imagine your repair stuff will be delayed for a time?
Music and travel destroy prejudice.




Soap Music
31 posts
Dec 20, 2020
8:07 AM
Heavy breathing, another arrestable offence as is saying Good Morning Little School Girl.
2947 posts
Dec 20, 2020
9:44 PM
@jbone Yes, I have several harps with me (I’m in Albuquerque tonight), and I think there might be one or two that will be forwarded, but mostly I have been telling folks to wait until we get settled.
I know Bren sent me a Switch harp to put together, that was coming from GB and had not yet arrived.
2948 posts
Dec 20, 2020
9:46 PM
@Thievin’ I saw her advertised as playing at the Deli, hadn’t heard her before, she certainly can sing!
I think I’ll ask if she needs a harp player LOL
10329 posts
Dec 21, 2020
12:47 PM
Sonvolt, and herd immunity just means the spread rate will be low enough so that it will start to go away. It can still bounce around in the unvaccinated, occasionally picking off vaccinated people too. That new strain in the U.K. spreads much easier. It seems to be covered by this vaccine but a faster spreading virus needs a higher percentage of the population to be immunized for herd immunity. For measles I think it's up over 90% for herd immunity.

And the longer it is floating around us the more chances it has to mutate and get new variations that can spread faster or that have higher mortality rates. :(

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First Post- May 8, 2009
6860 posts
Dec 21, 2020
5:14 PM
I just got the first booking for my band since March. Now I have to try and overcome these cats' herd immunity to organising some rehearsals. In this State the restriction on dancing and "vertical drinking" had just been lifted after I forget how many months without a diagnosed case. Ironically, or perhaps stupidly, they waited until the border was reopened before lifting the restrictions, so the risk of transmission is actually higher now than it has been for several months.
And up in NSW where the government has been taking a "suppression" approach rather than the elimination which was almost accidentally achieved in most other states fairly quickly (Victoria the big exception) they seem to have managed to let the genie loose just in time to make trouble for the holiday season... There's always one. So who knows whether this recent readjustment will even last until we can rip this gig out. We'll proceed for now as if it's going to happen.
2219 posts
Dec 22, 2020
8:47 AM
You can sing through a mask into a mic or you can play harp through multiple folded layers of a kerchief to minimize aerosol spread. For those who are just playing harp and not switching to vocals you can use a folded cloth for the time being to help suppress aerosols. This also quiets the sound of the harp, so if you practice you will not bother others in the home as much.

Unfortunately, those people who sing AND play harp at performances (like me) can not easily switch back and forth from vocals to harp in one song while maintaining aerosol filtration.

Perhaps we need portable plexiglass isolation cubicles on stage to protect the audience and other musicians from aerosols spread by dual duty vocal and harp performers? They used something like this for the band on The Voice.

Another option might be to sing and play rack harp inside a biohazard hood with a filtered air supply...


For those who just play harp and don't sing I think a new product is needed for harps: the HarpMask©!

It should have a snug fit to the back of the harp, to filter the breath of the player coming out of the back of the harp while allowing enough sound for a mic. The HarpMask© needs to be washable and maybe have a replaceable filter. Vents in the harp covers (if any) need to be sealed, perhaps with blutack included with the HarpMask©? Closed cover harps would spread less aerosol.


I think it will still be best to keep socially distanced for mutual safety for the foreseeable future. Outdoor shows remain safest for all if the audience and the musicians keep safe distances.

I am eagerly awaiting the vaccine to tilt my odds toward survival if exposed to Covid-19. Frequent saliva testing (as done here at the University of Illinois) combined with widespread vaccinations could really help reduce the spread and create a safer and less restrictive "new normal".

I believe widespread vaccination is needed before venues can consider resuming live music indoors. It would cost too much to retrofit older establishments with effective air filtration for the stage and the attendees.

I love playing and listening to live music.

Until herd immunity is achieved I am looking forward toward resuming distanced outdoor playing (and listening) in the spring of 2021. Central Illinois is too cold for winter outdoor performances.

Regarding players who rely on gigs as their primary income I have seen some local players scrape by with virtual shows and online tips, but it is not as sustainable a way of life as frequent gigging. I don't find online shows as enjoyable as being there, but I still plan to check out online shows this winter and to support performers with tips.

Doug S.

Last Edited by dougharps on Dec 22, 2020 8:49 AM
2949 posts
Jan 05, 2021
5:22 PM
@Thievin’ The Deli in Norman is closed due to the virus, and Camille seems to be staying home and taking care of her young child.
Be safe y’all, this doesn’t seem to be under control.

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