Hola a todos. One of my favourite orchestras in Deutschland is performing during the COVID pandemic. I have trouble watching their performances — so I’ve only watched a few minutes of a couple of videos — because I don’t agree with what they’re doing. I find it very risky behaviour. It’s not quite the full orchestra. I think the capacity limit is 50 musicians on stage. But it only takes a fraction of that to get a viral infection going.
I see the Concert Hall as a COVID germ box. Apparently to orchestral mis-management, the lives of their musicians is worth it and their lives are expendable otherwise they wouldn’t be taking these risks of having their superb musicians become infected. “We’ll just hire another musician to fill your spot in our orchestra” must be their cavalier thinking. What else could it be? In the comments under the performance(s), the conservative classical music armchair critics — likely consider COVID to be a hoax — have no problem with these COVID germ box performances as they gush and gush over the performance and not say a word about the health risks involved of one or all musicians possibly becoming infected with COVID, if someone is not already infected but asymptomatic. A couple of people have questioned orchestral mis-management’s COVID protocol but those people were trolled by others saying: “This is perfectly safe. No one has become infected. [How would a commenter know that? They don’t. They’re just serving as a puppet for orchestral mis-management.] In an attempt to downplay the global pandemic and the number of deaths and support orchestral mis-management, one commenter asked: “How many people do you know or have friends who have become infected?” And what does that have to do with anything? So one is only supposed to care about COVID if they personally know someone who has become infected and or died? That commenter was calling COVID a hoax and dismissing the millions of people who have died or become ill to date. Perhaps they will change their disgusting, cold, inhumane, thoughtless and lobotomised attitude about this pandemict should and when they become infected, if they’re not already and asymptomatic.
Orchestral mis-management’s COVID protocol is questionable. They have the string musicians distanced to a degree — with each musician having their own desk/music stand — but not as much as they should be distanced considering none of the musicians on stage are wearing a mask/face covering — WTF? — and the face mask is the best vaccine available to date. The winds are distanced more than the strings, but again, no masks. The production crew was wearing face masks. It’s interesting that the camera people felt they should wear a mask and they’re very wise to do so. But not the musicians. Or did orchestral mis-management make that decision? If that came from them, clearly orchestral-mismanagement value the lives of the production crew more than their own musicians.
Then the conductor comes out with a face mask on and then he removes it upon stepping on the podium. Question: Does coronavirus know to avoid podiums and that conductors are sacrosanct and above infection? Insanity. Does COVID know the clock, the various time zones and curfew times? This is the insane behaviour taking place these days as coronavirus surges throughout much of the EU and UK (post-Brexit). There’s a reduced audience in the COVID germ box Concert Hall, but they’re seated in checkerboard fashion and distanced. The hall is not at full capacity.
Concert-goers are required to wear a mask when walking in the Concert Hall germ box, but they can remove the mask when seated. WTF? Question: Does the virus know the difference between people walking versus people sitting? Does the virus know to avoid people who are sitting? More Insanity. And how is this any different than sitting in a restaurant? Restaurants are closed under COVID health guidelines as they should be and the same for that “outdoor dining” nonsense where people remove their mask, leave it off and cough, sneeze, laugh, talk loudly and aerosol the place on the adjacent tables and people. And some of the “outdoor dining” parklets in San Francisco are closed rooms on 3 sides making it really no different than inside the restaurant. Loco./Crazy. And why are some people so desperate to eat in some (greasy-spoon) restaurant? Don’t know how to boil water and make pasta?
So why are concert halls even open? Viruses can go a lot farther than 20 feet in certain circumstances. Orchestral mis-management say that the Concert Hall is “ventilated” between performances. Why is it not “ventilated” DURING performances? That would seem to be when it should be “ventilated.” And how is the germ box “ventilated?” Does that mean that the same stale, virus-infected air is being passed around like on a sealed jetliner for hours? And in this case, concert-goers have removed their mask. All surfaces, orchestral mis-management say, are disinfected. Does that include the piano keys?
German Chancellor Angela Merkel (pronounced Aun-gay-lah Mairkul) had ordered “no singing in churches” yet there was a vocal soloist singing on stage in the Concert Hall germ box for a Bach cantata. How is that any different than in a church? Singing is one of the main carriers of COVID-19.
Then I saw more insanity recently when a group of choristers were singing and accompanied by mask-less instrumentalists in lead-infested Notre Dame de Paris for Navidad. No masks on anyone. WTF? Their distancing was lame.
Also, Concert Halls are notorious for the Coughing Festival that takes place in between movements of pieces where the hall sounds like a Tuberculosis Ward in a medical centre. So when the Coughing Festival begins in the Concert Hall germ box, will there be herds of people rushing to the exists between one movement and another to escape from being coughed on? Or will they think nothing of it? The same for sneezing in the germ box or on stage.
The only concert situation I’ve seen where I approved of it was Václav Luks in the Czech Republic. That was done intelligently. For their performances (Collegium 1704 and Collegium Vocale) he had both Orchestra and Chorus in masks and very distanced. See here and here. Václav didn’t remove his face mask whilst conducting. That’s intelligent behaviour. That’s the intelligent way to do a performance these days if you going to do one at all.
I see what they’re doing in Deutschland as rather reckless as the confirmed COVID virus caseload rises in the country. With few exceptions, orchestral mis-management is no friend to their musicians, or at least that’s the way it is here in the non-United States with the major symphony orchestras. It’s the arrogant and corrupt mis-management who are the first to demand salary cuts, cuts to musician’s health benefits and anything else that mis-management demand of their musicians. Fuck off is what mis-managment needs to do quite frankly. I have little to no respect for most orchestral mis-management — the elitist corporate trash who run major symphony orchestras — based on how I’ve seen them treat their musicians. With coronavirus infections erupting through much of the world, I find it insane that any respectable orchestra would risk the lives of their stellar musicians as they are doing in Deutschland. These are among the finest musicians one will find anywhere. I understand they would like to return to performing and need an income, but this behaviour seems insane. And what was the conductor who lives in Vienna doing in Frankfurt? Yeah. That too. Doesn’t Vienna currently have a shelter-in-place order similar to much of the rest of the world that this conductor was violating? He took his face mask off when standing on the podium as if the virus that could be floating around in the air on the stage wouldn’t dare infect him.
And would orchestral mis-management announce that any musicians have become infected or died from COVID? Of course not. Even if the person died of COVID, they would say: “We don’t know where he or she contracted the virus. Our condolences to his family” would be their response. Is orchestral mis-management quarantining their musicians for 14 days or so and testing them rigorously before a performance? I seriously doubt it. I suspect the musicians arrive at the Concert Hall germ box, a temperature check may be taken (or not!), but that’s about it. Any person can be infected but asymptomatic which will spread the virus.
But it’s not just insanity that is widespread. Willful-ignorance is also widespread. Mi amigo/my friend talked with a relative. He told her that several of their relatives from many different households had had a party recently (violating the health guidelines). She said it wasn’t a party. Does it matter what is was? Does it matter what it was when they were all in the same room eating and drinking and laughing it up. They’re in California where there is a state-wide shelter-in-place order currently. She ignorantly asked, “What’s wrong with getting together with relatives and friends?” Sigh. He didn’t respond or try to educate her about shelter-in-place because she prefers denial. He told me, “She doesn’t even understand what shelter-in-place means even though it’s been in the news for going on 10 months now. She is clueless about it and intends to stay that way.” But she doesn’t watch or hear any news on purpose because she doesn’t want anything spoiling her fun. She’s your typical, irresponsible child in an adult body in her 60s. So, knowing that, he had no intention of telling her that under the COVID guidelines that multiple households are not supposed to be mixing or coming together. Period. And shelter-in-place means that you stay in your home. You don’t get together with friends or relatives and party or whatever you want to call it. And you have to quarantine for 10 days in your home if you leave the Bay Area and return — which some of them have done — but they thought they were smug and could skate around the quarantine guidelines by driving to the Bay Area so they didn’t have to quarantine. One’s means of travel are irrelevant when it comes to the quarantine guidelines. If one crawled to the Bay Area on both knees, one is still subject to the quarantine. Disgusting and terribly irresponsible behaviour. You don’t go to someone’s home to party, for dinner, or for anything else under shelter-in-place, dummy. I swear, stupidity and insanity are widespread and epidemic. And you don’t invite anyone to visit or to live with you because they could be infected with COVID-19. But stupid-is-in, so that’s often what one is dealing with especially with reckless people and those who choose denial. Chau.—el barrio rosa