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The Art of the Pandemic

I haven't written much lately about Covid-19 and its effects on us freelancers. The "comeback" for us Ohioans began just before Memorial Day weekend and, for the most part, all of my shows have been well attended by enthusiastic folks who have simply wanted to get back out and have fun.

And it's been fun, certainly nice to be back out and see friends and followers. Some of my colleagues are choosing not to play, and I get that. But, since music is my main source of income, I simply can't afford not to. And I don't mind that, I'd much rather work than not.

But, as we leave July behind, it's clear that two months of us being out again has created quite a spike in virus, hospital, and death counts. We all figured that would happen, of course, but I know I'm a bit surprised by the strength of the virus. Blame is being thrown in all directions, with bars and restaurants getting the lion's share. Is that fair? None of us really know.

What we do know is that another shutdown is likely. Will it last two weeks, a month, or more? I actually think the length of this shutdown won't matter much. The very fact that we would shut down for a second time, regardless of how long, would be devastating to many small businesses, as well as the confidence of the consumers.

I truly believe that the changes we're been experiencing the last four months will have an impact on us for a long time, and some of them will be permanent. Certainly, as long as we're being asked to social distance in the places I and other musicians perform at, our experiences will be diminished to some extent. When you can only have half the number of people in a building as you did before, everything is different.

What we do on stage is the same, of course. But our interactions with people are a bit tepid. We all feel the new rules and regulations in a personal way, and it's changed the way we are with each other. There's a nervousness that hangs in the air, as we're so aware that our lives could be altered in some way at any time.

So, in a way, it's a little less fun. But it's just as meaningful as it always was, perhaps even more so. Now, when I sing to a crowd, even if it's to fewer people than ever before, there's actually more energy, more appreciation. We're grateful for what we have, and will hang on to it for as long as possible.

They may be able to cramp our style a bit, but in the end, we'll always prevail.

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