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Flauting in corona days....


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#1 Misterioso

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Posted 02 August 2020 - 15:29

Is it safe? Obviously I mean flauting with at least two people present. A friend and I are meeting up to play flute duets, socially distanced and with the window open. But how much risk is there really? And would that be significantly increased if there were three? It seems flute is the least safe of woodwind instruments, presumably due to air being blown across the top, and more any being blown out of the footjoint. What do people think? - I'd be really glad to have some feedback on this.

 

:flute:


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#2 dorfmouse

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Posted 02 August 2020 - 16:52

My flute teacher, who is extremely careful and hygiene-conscious, mentioned a gadget that colleagues are using in the US. It's called a Win-D-Fender and clips on to the front of the headjoint.
Here's a video I found:

https://m.youtube.co...h?v=L5TsUiztHJg

He's hoping to get back to 1:1 lessons with it.

Where I live our wind band is allowed to rehearse again from next week, keeping 1.5m distance ...
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#3 Misterioso

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Posted 02 August 2020 - 19:02

Interesting idea! All I need now is to find one to fit a bass flute, which is what my flute teacher plays when we trio together. Thanks for this info, dorfmouse.


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#4 dorfmouse

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Posted 02 August 2020 - 20:15

How much risk is there? Doesn't it depend on a combination of your own health, your living circumstances, where you are, and what the figures for your region are so that you can make a reasoned personal risk assessment?
Where I live, the numbers are very small and the deaths, t G, only a handful since the beginning of the crisis. The warning app seems to be doing well after some teething problems and from the data it has, informs me that I have not been near an infected person - as far as it knows of course.
This balancing act between personal and social responsibility is very tricky indeed.
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#5 Misterioso

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Posted 03 August 2020 - 10:25

This balancing act between personal and social responsibility is very tricky indeed.

It certainly is, and I do recognise that my risk depends on my own circumstances. Living where I do, infection rates thus far have been very low. Although this is a touristy place in the summer, it has been difficult for tourists to visit the island due to the police who have done a sterling job of turning away people from the ferry terminals unless their journey was strictly necessary. That is no longer the case, and we are now seeing an influx of tourists, although nowhere near the numbers we would normally have.

 

Until very recently I have been shielding, and am still exercising caution. But as things begin to open up, a video I watched a video about flutes and air flow that alerted me to the fact that flutes do have specific issues that other wind instruments don't have. There was a tacit suggestion that it could be as bad as singing, which is of course currently banned in churches. My flautist friend (also shielding until recently) and I have discussed the risks of our playing together, and are happy to take the small risk involved. But adding back in a third person (not shielding as far as I know) changes the dynamics again - thus my reason for asking. Many thanks, dorfmouse, for your reply.


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#6 helen_flute

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Posted 03 August 2020 - 20:14

I agree with the idea that it’s about weighing up your individual risks, while accepting that the flute is intrinsically a more aerosol generating instrument than most others. 
 

I work in a hospital and have direct contact with patients on a daily basis, so I view my own risk of catching a Covid as much higher than average. I have therefore said to my flute teacher that I would prefer to keep having lessons online for the moment, because I would hate to discover that I had caught it from a patient, been asymptomatic, and then passed it on to him.

 

 

On the other hand, if I was working from home, and was meeting with someone who was doing the same, for just the two of us to play together, in a large, well ventilated room, that would be entirely different. 
 

Misterioso - living where you do, and knowing what the infection rates have been in your part of the world, I would have thought the risks of you and your friend meeting to play would be very low. 


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#7 elemimele

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Posted 04 August 2020 - 08:11

We live in a world of amazingly double standards. For any of the three of you to be at risk, one of you must be infected already, which in your part of the world is very unlikely. Also although fluting probably creates aerosols, you will be doing it in a ventillated place, with distancing, which reduces the risk of transmission. But because the world doesn't contain many singers or flutists, it's fairly easy to gang up on them and blame them for rampant spread of virus. Meanwhile, the pubs are open, with people sitting face to face, barely 6" between their noses, and shouting because the environment is loud, because they're drunk, because that's what you do. They're spitting in each other's beer, jostling those around them with not a clue who they all are. We're not talking 3 well-behaved flautists here, we're talking 50 or 60 or more people having a nice evening out without worrying about anything. And next week some of them will be flying on holiday because we have to keep the airlines in business. Having caught something in the pub this week, next week they'll be breathing in a confined metal cylinder with recycled air, with 100 other total strangers. It doesn't take a degree in epidemiology to work out the numbers. But no one wants to look too closely, because socialising and foreign travel are what politicians, decision-makers, and their voters do...

You are probably a very low risk (though it's impossible to offer certainty) and you're certainly behaving in a far more responsible manner than most of the population, so whatever you decide, don't feel guilty.

(sorry, in a grumpy mood today)


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#8 Misterioso

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Posted 04 August 2020 - 10:55

Thank you elemimele and helen_flute for your perspectives on this. I must say I have been absolutely horrified by the news clips showing crowded beaches, parks, bars and cafes, with people almost shoulder to shoulder and no evidence of any safety measures in place. Yet these are the same people who will complain loudly when lockdown measures have to be reinstated - a growing possibility with the new clusters we are seeing. :angry2:


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#9 mel2

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Posted 04 August 2020 - 11:18

Thank you elemimele and helen_flute for your perspectives on this. I must say I have been absolutely horrified by the news clips showing crowded beaches, parks, bars and cafes, with people almost shoulder to shoulder and no evidence of any safety measures in place. Yet these are the same people who will complain loudly when lockdown measures have to be reinstated - a growing possibility with the new clusters we are seeing. :angry2:


Misterioso, I think the news broadcasters have been extremely irresponsible in the way they report this topic, failing to give actual numbers and concentrating on percentages instead, which can sound frightening. You and I are admittedly bad at maths but when we hear of a 63% spike in cases, we gasp until it becomes clear just how low are the numbers. Too low to be able to test a vaccine accurately!
I think playing a flute with a couple of friends in a ventilated room in the Outer Hebrides sounds about as low risk as anything you are likely to do in your life - probably a lot safer than riding your bike.
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#10 Misterioso

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Posted 04 August 2020 - 19:45

That puts it well into perspective! Thank you, mel2. :)


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#11 helen_flute

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Posted 04 August 2020 - 20:24

 

I think playing a flute with a couple of friends in a ventilated room in the Outer Hebrides sounds about as low risk as anything you are likely to do in your life - probably a lot safer than riding your bike.

 

I absolutely agree with this. Risks vary widely across the country, and the Outer Hebrides is probably one of the lowest risk parts of the UK you could hope to be in. I reckon you should meet your friend, take sensible precautions but not go OTT, and enjoy making music together. 


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