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Thread: jams with friends during covid

  1. #1
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    Default jams with friends during covid

    Have any of you tried to meet in person, in low covid case areas, with friends who are very well known and almost assuredly virus free (one here is a retired nurse), socially distanced (10"+. outdoors), under 6 attendees?
    My dear friends want to try this and I am torn. Don't want to lose the friendships over being stubborn, but I have gone nowhere, and done only the necessary for months.
    Has anyone attempted this scenario yet?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: jams with friends during covid

    I just did that very thing today. Jammed with 4 friends in a park, kept our distance, didn't shake hands. It felt good to be jamming again after being isolated since April. I'm not young but I lead a healthy lifestyle and have no pre-existing conditions.

    I'm not advocating you do the same. It's an individual choice that only you should make. Your friends shouldn't fault you for refusing to join.

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  4. #3
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    Default Re: jams with friends during covid

    Been doing it for about 6 weeks, every other week. Fortunately there are 2 couples who each play and 2 singles plus the wife and me. We have a square or pentangle depending on who shows. No sharing except for tunes. Trust and sanitation are your friends. The youngest is 60 and we think we’re not being foolish. We think a trip to the store is more hazardous.

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  6. #4
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    Default Re: jams with friends during covid

    Like the song says .....you can live to be 100 if you give up everything worth living to 100 for. Seriously, it seems to be about distancing. So distance and enjoy picking.

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    Default Re: jams with friends during covid

    For the last month, I’ve been playing about once a week with a couple guys. We stay outside and try not to cough on each other. Seriously, though, we’re all taking this pretty seriously in our every day lives. There are plenty of other people I wouldn’t let near my house for any reason right now.
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  10. #6

    Default Re: jams with friends during covid

    Iím torn as my group is getting together, about 1/2 of them are pretty careful and I feel comfortable around them, the other half thinks the whole pandemic is fake news and I just donít want to be around such selfish, careless people so Iíll probably forgo the gathering. Do what you feel is right for you and donít worry about what anyone says - your safety is your responsibility.
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  12. #7
    Registered User Sue Rieter's Avatar
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    Default Re: jams with friends during covid

    Jonathan, a quick check of the NH covid dashboard tells me there are only 12 current cases in Cheshire county, that's pretty low. I'm in Rockingham county, where there are more than that, but only a small handful in my town. I saw my brother over 4th of July weekend, we looked at my mandolins, listened to music and had a couple beers in the yard. It was the first time I'd seen him since around Christmas time. It was a tad risky, but not too bad. Not as risky as going in the grocery store, IMHO. I think you're pretty safe in NH right now if you are careful. I'd probably keep a little extra distance while singing, though, if it were me.

    It's a personal choice for each person, though, and nobody should feel pressured.

    Sue
    Last edited by Sue Rieter; Jul-11-2020 at 8:59pm. Reason: extra thought

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  14. #8
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    Default Re: jams with friends during covid

    I'm in California and we're in an up-surge all over the state right now... From what I've been reading, everyone is exposed, the differences are in the dosage (or, the density) of the virus and in the amount of time for the exposure.

    Being outside dramatically reduces your chances of actually catching the virus because it dramatically reduces the dosage (or density). Social distancing outdoors reduces your chances even more because it reduces both the dosage and the time.

    Although face coverings in our current situation are primarily to help prevent spreading covid-19 to someone else, I've read a leading CDC epidemiologist's estimate that a cloth face cover reduces your chances of catching it for about 10 minutes of exposure time, while a standard disposable surgical mask (not N-95) reduces your chances for about 20 minutes of exposure time, in other words they may help protect us a little, but they aren't very effective for personal protection from the virus over extended periods of time.

    Not that anyone singing at a jam would really want to wear a face cover anyway, but there are documented cases of mega-virus surge events occurring indoors in groups while singing, as well as while exercising, while the groups were both distancing and wearing face covers. Again, dosage and time.

    Of course the other wildcards are that nobody knows for sure how long before symptoms show up a person is contagious, and, some people get the virus, but never know it because they never show symptoms.

    If it were me, and I've got per-existing conditions and have been pretty isolated since mid-March, if the jam was out in the open outdoors among friends who would be honest about it if they knew they had the virus, and if distancing is generously practiced, I'd go. My wife says she would too, and being a working nurse at a local VA hospital, she's pretty careful.

    Neither of us would go to an indoor jam, even with careful distancing and with face coverings.

    For what it's worth, we just got done with our daily online (JamKazam) jam with some folks from all over the continent, and while it wasn't perfect (what jam is???), it was much better and much more fun than not jamming. And no one catches anything from these things, except for the bug to jam more.
    -- Don

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  16. #9
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    Default Re: jams with friends during covid

    I've been picking with a buddy almost every week. We choose a rain free day (Seattle) and play in my back yard. Both of us are cautious and believe we're being safe.

    dp
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  17. #10
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    Default Re: jams with friends during covid

    Been doing it since the beginning. Meeting outside or in a large area like a garage.

    For context, I'm a little over 50 and in very good health. I work in an "essential" job, so I've never stopped daily activities, just modified for current situation. That may make me a little more comfortable with being out and about.
    Todd Yates

  18. #11
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    Default Re: jams with friends during covid

    I’ve been playing with a couple of friends once a week for about the last month. None of us are young but we’re all very careful, wear masks, stay well enough apart and are outside. This seems to work for us while still being super careful. The only problems we’ve encountered are bugs falling from overhead branches and an occasional weed eater running on adjacent property.

  19. #12
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    Default Re: jams with friends during covid

    Five of us spreas around a back deck about once a week for the past 2 months, since the weather's been warm enough. Instigated by the local library inviting us to do an on-line concert of Italian music; locally advertised, 40-minute concert got 1,000+ views on the library website! We've kept it up since. 2 mandolins, guitar, flute, me on bass guitar. (I sometimes fill in on guitar or mando).

    Quote Originally Posted by Ranger Bob View Post
    ... problems we’ve encountered ... an occasional weed eater running on adjacent property.
    Final concert filming was a Sunday morning, for the low probability of suburban lawn mowers & chain saws!
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  20. #13
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    Default Re: jams with friends during covid

    Thanks to you all for responding. Not so attached to jam as I am to my friends. Experience has shown me how quickly erosion of friendships can occur in such instances.

  21. #14
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    Default Re: jams with friends during covid

    Been doing a few band practices in a backyard. We're well spaced and masks are worn most of the time. Trying to be careful as 2 members are high risk and the rest of us have above average risk. Have shifted our repertoire to just instrumentals at this point to avoid singing.

    Also recently started playing with my duet partner in person. Again, outdoors and we both have masks. And neither of us sing, so it makes things easier.

    We're also re-starting a monthly Scandinavian jam which will also be outdoors, if the weather cooperates. Last time we got three tunes in before the rain. Hoping for better luck next weekend. Again, distancing and masks are a priority. Then again, with accordions and small pipes, distancing becomes a virtue.
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    Default Re: jams with friends during covid

    We've been playing a couple of small farmers markets. It's out side and we sit apart keeping it to 3-5 folks so we can hear. Any more and the distance makes it hard to hear. The vendors really appreciate it and we get to jam. Since gigs are a thing of the past it is nice. We sing some, but not loud just trying to cover our group, but sound carries outside so it works. Everyone is being careful in their lives so we feel comfortable. We are all over 65 so important to stay safe.
    THE WORLD IS A BETTER PLACE JUST FOR YOUR SMILE!

  23. #16
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    Default Re: jams with friends during covid

    Yes, we've been getting together for about 2 months or so every Mon. night. Mostly outside, have had 2 gigs but outside. Were all careful as we can be, I'm the highest risk of them all and my Dr. said if I get it-not good at all and gave me the look he did in 2011 when he said I have about a year left to live! I think if people use their heads all will be fine. Wash hands, not sneeze on each other etc... My area hasn't had much death and sickness from the Covid! But one should never let your guard down-I wear mask in stores while many people don't!

    One should get together and play with band mates/friends if nobody is sick and use your brains!

  24. #17
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    Default Re: jams with friends during covid

    I haven't jammed in what seems like forever, and I still managed to contract a mild case of covid. I consider myself a disciplined mask wearer and hand washer and indoor crowd-avoider, well informed on how to minimize my chances of getting covid. I am now also well informed on how to deal with covid if you get it.

    I got tested 4 days after my symptoms began, and it took 8 days to get results back. I had already ended my self isolation (abiding by CDC guidelines) when I received my results. Ironically, I already knew that what I had was covid, because I had lost my sense of smell (and taste).

    If you think lockdown was bad, try self-isolation. We are fortunate to have a spare bedroom and bathroom, but many folks don't have that option. Still, being confined to 2 rooms makes time creep by (I think I read or reread every book in the house). We are extremely fortunate that 1) I had a mild case, and 2) my wife managed to avoid contracting it from me.

    Apparently there is no contract tracing where I live, or else the fact that my test results took so long rendered contract tracing useless. So I was my own contact tracer. Of all the people I could remember to contact, none got the virus from any contact with me.

    There is also somewhat of a stigma with covid-positive folks, mostly because we knew so little about the virus at first, and that inevitably evolves over time with greater experience, and the misinformation that inevitably circulates at the beginning of a new disease is difficult to reconcile with the emerging information as we begin to understand it better. Family and friends still wonder if you have really "fully" recovered, or if you are still shedding virus. I understand their fears, and I keep my distance.
    Clark Beavans

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  26. #18
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    Default Re: jams with friends during covid

    I've gotten together with my 2 band mates once in an outdoor and spacious setting. It was ok. Now NC has a mask requirement for public places.
    Like others have mentioned, some people in the local jams circles I would trust and others I don't.
    One of our jams is held typically in the local library but that was shut down months ago and likely isn't coming back soon.
    I was running a monthly jam in a local coffee shop and don't have any plans on getting that going again soon either.

    I've also kind of lost any interest in performing any type of gigs in the near future. Enjoying just playing around and working on new stuff on my own, but I'm an introvert so...
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  27. #19
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    Default Re: jams with friends during covid

    My friends I have been getting together every Wednesday night for about 2 months now and jamming. Outdoors at a private residence, usually 6-8 of us ranging in age from 20-70 (I fall in the middle at 42). We have managed to stay healthy. There was a large mailing list of folks invited to join pre-Covid; it was common to have 15 or so people picking on Wednesdays. The list has been pared down to the core group of regulars. We have collectively decided that we choose to live our lives while being careful and using common sense. We have larger event set up to take place August 7-9 with 25 people invited. We will be outdoors on a large property, with folks able to pitch a tent or park an RV.
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  28. #20
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    Default Re: jams with friends during covid

    Yes.

    All public open jams have been canceled in my area. I have gotten together with friends a few times for smaller, outdoor jams.

    Nothing like the 2 to 3 jams a week that I was doing pre-covid.
    Greg Fury

  29. #21
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    Default Re: jams with friends during covid

    Quote Originally Posted by tree View Post
    I haven't jammed in what seems like forever, and I still managed to contract a mild case of covid. I consider myself a disciplined mask wearer and hand washer and indoor crowd-avoider, well informed on how to minimize my chances of getting covid. I am now also well informed on how to deal with covid if you get it.

    I got tested 4 days after my symptoms began, and it took 8 days to get results back. I had already ended my self isolation (abiding by CDC guidelines) when I received my results. Ironically, I already knew that what I had was covid, because I had lost my sense of smell (and taste).

    If you think lockdown was bad, try self-isolation. We are fortunate to have a spare bedroom and bathroom, but many folks don't have that option. Still, being confined to 2 rooms makes time creep by (I think I read or reread every book in the house). We are extremely fortunate that 1) I had a mild case, and 2) my wife managed to avoid contracting it from me.

    Apparently there is no contract tracing where I live, or else the fact that my test results took so long rendered contract tracing useless. So I was my own contact tracer. Of all the people I could remember to contact, none got the virus from any contact with me.

    There is also somewhat of a stigma with covid-positive folks, mostly because we knew so little about the virus at first, and that inevitably evolves over time with greater experience, and the misinformation that inevitably circulates at the beginning of a new disease is difficult to reconcile with the emerging information as we begin to understand it better. Family and friends still wonder if you have really "fully" recovered, or if you are still shedding virus. I understand their fears, and I keep my distance.
    Thank you Chuck (@tree), for being open and clear about this. I honestly only know 2 in-person people personally who have or have had the virus... Both are older retired guys, one had a lighter version, and the other has said it's the worst sickness he's ever had and is in the hospital with it now. I really appreciate your shared thoughts and experiences with it.
    -- Don

    "Music: A minor auditory irritation occasionally characterized as pleasant."
    "It is a lot more fun to make music than it is to argue about it."


    2002 Gibson F-9
    2016 MK LFSTB
    1975 Suzuki taterbug (plus many other noisemakers)
    [About how I tune my mandolins]
    [7/29/2019 -- New Arrival!!!]

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  31. #22
    bass player gone mando
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    Default Re: jams with friends during covid

    I've been practicing with one music friend on Monday nights for about six weeks in a socially distanced, semi-outdoor setting. We've played together for years, he finger-picks guitar and sings, and I play about 2/3 bass (usually upright, but acoustic bass guitar right now) and 1/3 mandolin. The last two weeks on Monday night, instead of practicing, we have performed acoustically in a safe outdoor setting where a small number of people can listen from somewhat afar. Everyone is observant of safety here and wears masks etc. I will say that people are very grateful to hear some live music.

    This Wednesday night I'm practicing with a long-time band (4 people including me) for the first time since this all started. We'e going to practice outdoors and stay safely apart. It's not great, but ya make do.
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  32. #23
    Registered User John Flynn's Avatar
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    Default Re: jams with friends during covid

    My mid-1800s period band started practicing together again two months ago after two months of staying quarantined. Our first month back, we started in a large screened in porch at one of the member's house and we kept our distance. When it got too hot for that, we went back to another member's music room, where we used to practice. Everyone avoids direct contact and everyone has agreed that we will not come to practice if we have any symptoms or have come in contact with someone with symptoms. We are all high risk for age and some of us for other factors.

    But we like to play and we can't keep our lives on hold forever over this. The hospitals are not overloaded and now have experience with this. Everyone is hyper-sensitive about symptoms and would get to a doctor immediately if we saw any sign at all. You do what you can do and you get on with your life. So far, no problems. I know some people have not been so fortunate, but none of us even knows anyone who has contracted the disease.

    All the local jams have been shut down tight. No sign of when they will ever reopen. All of our gigs have been cancelled until one in October. We don't know if that one will happen. We do expect a lot of requests around Christmas, so we are working on our Christmas set along with our regular set.

  33. #24
    Registered User tree's Avatar
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    Default Re: jams with friends during covid

    I'm just saying that you can be diligent and intelligent about minimizing your risk and also be unlucky. I did what I could and was getting on with my life . . . but I hear you.

    Keep calm and carry on.
    Clark Beavans

  34. #25
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    Default Re: jams with friends during covid

    Agreed. Low risk doesn't mean no risk, and "unlucky" can sometimes find you in spite of everything.

    Clark, glad you're feeling better!
    Todd Yates

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