Flutes and COVID19

For Anything and Everything to do with Flute Playing and Music

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blowtorch711
Posts: 25
Joined: Fri Nov 13, 2015 1:04 am

Flutes and COVID19

Post by blowtorch711 »

OK, I had to ask...

We now live in the age of the COVID19 pandemic. We are warned about the virus and its ability to survive on various materials. It's said that it can survive on hard surfaces (metals, hard plastics) for at least a few days. On soft materials (paper, cardboard, cloth) for a day or two. How about on your flute? On the pads?

Should one take any special measures to ensure that 1) you are not endangering yourself or anyone else if you play your flute, and 2) what are best practices for flute players given the risks of spreading the virus?

Scoff if you like.

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Phineas
Posts: 959
Joined: Sat Jan 22, 2005 1:08 am

Re: Flutes and COVID19

Post by Phineas »

Should one take any special measures to ensure that 1) you are not endangering yourself or anyone else if you play your flute, and 2) what are best practices for flute players given the risks of spreading the virus?
Here are a few thing to consider before being overly cautious.

1. You cannot catch the virus unless you come in contact with a person who has it and shows symptoms.
2. Since the virus is heavier than air, it is not airborne. If someone who is infected sneezes, it will be only airborne for a maximum distance of 10 ft.
3. The virus can only infect you if it makes it into your raspatory system. That means if somehow it gets in your mouth, as long as it is not dry, you will not get infected.
4. The virus can live quite a while on metal surfaces. But a standard sanitizer spray will kill it. However, it should not be necessary outside of what you are normally doing unless someone uses your headjoint or sneezes on it. This is not a good time to share a wind instrument!!!!
5. If you are in a restricted district, you are not advised to gather with more than 10 people. Which means you should not be playing with a large group. Nor should you be playing for an audience right now.

Just my .02USD

Phineas

blowtorch711
Posts: 25
Joined: Fri Nov 13, 2015 1:04 am

Re: Flutes and COVID19

Post by blowtorch711 »

Thanks, Phineas, for your reply.

To be clear, I am self-quarantining (as everyone should be doing now) so I'm not worrying about infecting others, not worrying about catching it from others.

I certainly would not pass around any instrument - especially a wind instrument(!) or head joint these days!!! Nor would I perform with others around (or attend someone else's performance).

I'm just thinking about practicing. Alone.

I have a weekly session where I get together with a friend to see if we can make anything like music together. That's been on hold for almost 2 months now (and I'm getting rusty). I'm thinking of trying to see if we can re-convene our sessions, but each alone at home in our respective home spaces....and doing it over FaceTime. I'm not sure how easy or challenging that will be (wondering if there's any noticeable lag) but it seems like The Next Best Thing to an in-person session.

Other questions I had are about how to care for my flute (something I'm probably not terribly good about ordinarily). After playing, I do give the instrument interior a swab with clearing rod and a soft cloth. I'm thinking it has been a long time since I washed that cloth...I probably need to do that more frequently even without virus paranoia, but definitely some hot-water trips through the washing machine now.

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pied_piper
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Joined: Sat Mar 31, 2007 1:31 pm
Location: Virginia

Re: Flutes and COVID19

Post by pied_piper »

I urge you to visit the CDC website for the most up-to-date and most accurate information about Covid 19.

CDC Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
Here is an excerpt:

Person-to-person spread
The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.

Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.

Can someone spread the virus without being sick?
People are thought to be most contagious when they are most symptomatic (the sickest).
Some spread might be possible before people show symptoms; there have been reports of this occurring with this new coronavirus, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.
Spread from contact with contaminated surfaces or objects
It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.
"Never give a flute player a screwdriver."
--anonymous--

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