2020: not the worst year ever

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2020: not the worst year ever

Post by harrisonreed » Fri Jan 15, 2021 7:28 am

Polio was first depicted as a life changing and crippling disease in ancient Egyptian art. It took us at least 3000 years to create a vaccine and eradicate it.

Once they committed to do so, it apparently took Moderna two days to develop what is now the vaccine being administered in the USA for COVID-19.

Before 2005, the RNA vaccine would have been inconceivable. Not much further before that, sequencing a virus's genome would have been inconceivable.
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Re: 2020: not the worst year ever

Post by ArbanRubank » Fri Jan 15, 2021 8:03 am

I certainly don't mean to rub anyone's nose in it, but I have had a great year! Okay, so I couldn't move freely about the country, but I sure made up for it in a lot of other ways. Sometimes you have to do a David Bowie and re-invent yourself to suit the times. As long as it's not the end of the world, it's not the end of the world. Deepest sympathies to those who have lost loved ones.
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Re: 2020: not the worst year ever

Post by GabrielRice » Fri Jan 15, 2021 8:23 am

Maybe it's not the worst year ever, but it was the worst year in my lifetime.

I've made these pitches before, and I'm going to do it again now. Many thousands of professional freelance musicians - and many who had jobs that should have been secure, like the orchestra of The Met Opera - are in crisis.

Having-trouble-putting-food-on-the-table, adults-moving-back-in-with-their-families CRISIS.

In the United States, the unemployment system before the pandemic had absolutely nothing for the self-employed. Now there is PUA, which is supposed to cover the "gig" workers that have become an increasingly large part of the workforce. The problem is, you can't collect on both systems, so for many freelance musicians with a mix of W2 and 1099 income, their benefits are only based on a fraction of their normal income, and when they make a little bit of cash one week they get kicked off for that week - meaning they don't get the extra $300 or $600 either.

I helped form an organization in New England to help, and the public has responded very well. We have raised more than $375,000 to give aid grants to out of work musicians. www.nemrf.org

There are national organizations that do similar work: Sweet Relief, Musicares, The Actors Fund; and there are local organizations like NEMRF all over the country.

If you had a good year in 2020, if your stock holdings skyrocketed like Jeff Bezos, if you just have a steady job that helps feed your music habit, please give to one of the organizations that is working to help musicians who have no real income right now.
Gabriel Langfur Rice

Boston University School of Music
Kinhaven Music School Senior Session
Wellesley College

Bass Trombonist
Rhode Island Philharmonic
Vermont Symphony
Rodney Marsalis Philadelphia Big Brass
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Re: 2020: not the worst year ever

Post by BGuttman » Fri Jan 15, 2021 8:34 am

We are in a "K" shaped recovery. The well-to-do are doing very well indeed, while the lower income workers are doing worse and worse. Not helped by an administration that doesn't seem to care for the lower end workers (except to exploit them for political purposes).

The fact that we are living through our own version of the Spanish Flu epidemic of 1918-1920 has made this year a bad one. And our response to control measures appears to be identical to what happened 100 years ago.

There were some high spots. We sampled the material on a comet and on an asteroid. We managed to find a vaccine (hope we could find a cure as well) in dead record time. Unfortunately a lot of this pales in comparison to the plague and poor leadership in two major world countries.

FWIW, the plague and its companion economic slowdown has reduced US greenhouse gas emissions to close to target levels for control of global climate change.
Bruce Guttman
Merrimack Valley Philharmonic Orchestra
"Almost Professional"
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Re: 2020: not the worst year ever

Post by Burgerbob » Fri Jan 15, 2021 1:21 pm

I have improved my playing more in the last few months than in the last few years.

Otherwise, not so great. Like Gabe said, plenty of musicians have met their limit.

If I get a vaccine by summer I'd be surprised... I'm in just about the last group they would do. If I go a calendar year with no gigs I wouldn't be surprised.
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Re: 2020: not the worst year ever

Post by Reedman1 » Mon Jan 18, 2021 11:15 am

Even though the the effects on me, personally, have been minimal, it’s been a heartrending year: the pandemic, the mass deaths; the rebellious people stupidly refusing to wear masks, and traveling and gathering for parties and rallies; the economic collapse plus the explosion of wealth for the top .001; the worsening of domestic and international politics, I need not explain why; and the continued acceleration of climate degradation. I feel for the millions who are struggling; I am deeply concerned for my professional musician friends. I’m sure we all are.
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