Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Music is essential

I SPENT THE noon hour Tuesday listening to an oboe concert by my daughter, Emily Hart, professor of music at Western Illinois University. Relax, social distancing police. It was taped before the stay at home orders were issued.

For about half an hour, I sat on our porch in the sun, closed my eyes, and let her beautiful playing with pianist Po-Chuan Chuang take me away. Let's face it - these are stressful times, and the short break was welcome respite.

You could say it was essential, for my mental health and general sanity, anyway.

Second String Music is closed until May. We are not deemed an "essential service," so we can't keep the doors open. We are still doing limited business while maintaining social distancing protocol. But we are closed. My guitar lessons have ceased (I'm still exploring the online thing, more on that later this week). We have very little income, and we are still expected to pay for orders, mortgages and life itself.

We understand. As mentioned many times, we agree flattening the curve is the way to get through this. Sheryl is especially at risk as a Type 1 Diabetic. This isn't some hoax or media overhype. It's very real, and we'll do what we have to do. For the this month at least, we will be fine.

Sheryl is going through the frustrating and patience-testing process of applying for small business grants and loans. We aren't holding our breath. We always pay our bills on time, our taxes, and try to maintain a historic downtown Quincy building. I hate handouts. But it would go a long way to help keep going as a downtown anchor business.

Not that music is essential or anything. Not that you hear it every day and it's associated with everything you do. Every. Little. Thing. That show you are watching, that movie, that commercial, the intros and outros to that news show, and the newly popular live stream concert thing?

All music. All essential. All desperately needed in tough times.

Anyway, thank you Emily and Po for the beautiful music Tuesday. It essentially helped me get through the day.

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