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Don Noon

2020 Pandemic Covid-19

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I'm a bit surprised there has not been more discussion and information about this elephant in the room.  Surely some of our members in N. Italy have been severely impacted, if not infected.  Here in S. California this week a statewide "stay at home" order has been issued, with about the only benefit being that there is no traffic.  But there's also nowhere to go... restaurants, theaters, and many other things are closed.  Colleges are closed to in-person classes, and continuing on-line (we have 2 kids in college, now, or shortly, back at home).  Fortunately... as of this moment... I don't know of anyone directly who has been infected.

While this all has no direct effect on me making violins in my garage/shop, some of my clients are in trouble... the ones who make their living from music and concerts.  All cancelled, income drops to near zero.  And this situation has no visible end yet.

How y'all doing out there?

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Dear Don and Everyone,

Here in Texas our schools are closed on a district by district level.  I am out at least until April third. We are encouraged to stay at home as much as possible.  All bars and restaurants are closed except for drive through and pick up, including chains.  We are trying to order from our usual full service restaurants and leave tips for their waiters.  I am working with teaching and grading from home starting Monday.  The border here is closed to casual traffic from or to Mexico.

I have been in communication with Dimitri Musafia in Cremona.  He is OK as of a few days ago but his company is pretty much completely closed down.  I just got a custom fitted viola case from him about a week ago or so (Jeeze they are lovely, and really cheap for the work put into them) I think it was the last case out of Italy for a while.

I have contact with the family of one of my former violin students that live near an Italian Air Force Base.  The father is a retired USAF Lt. Col who directs the simulator program for Lockheed on the F35.  They seem to be OK but I'm worried.

 

That's all from Del Rio, TX at present,

 

Dwight

 

DLB

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Ok, for now. Had to close the shop until this passes. Will continue to remodel the new shop with out the contractors. My state  has also issued a stay at home order. With the exception of healthcare workers and shoppers getting basic needs. The Veterans community is also being hit, most cities across the states have a few Vet's that are on quarantine. So far only 2 deaths. All ports of call are currently closed so the bluewater sailers are basically stuck at sea or at anchorages.

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I’ve mentioned this on other post, but as a salaried performer I’m not as bad off as some. My orchestra has canceled the rest of the season, and our contract includes a “acts of God” clause, But management will not invoke that clause, and has agreed to pay half of our salary. 

I also teach quite a bit, and only three students have  canceled lessons, so my family and I are all right for the moment. I am very fortunate, though. A lot of my colleagues are going to be in trouble. The busiest part of the gig calendar Is Easter and the wedding season, which is right now, and none of that is taking place.

A friend of mine recently bought a Carl Becker cello, and is worried about whether he’s going to be able to keep it.

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50 minutes ago, Don Noon said:

 

While this all has no direct effect on me making violins in my garage/shop, 

I tried to address this on Thursday morning in the Auction scroll. Over here one has had to stay at home since Monday. Things have been getting more serious since then, with governments spending/pledging billions every time they open their mouths, big firms, e.g. Volkswagen stopping production anyway. For violin makers, we stay at home most of the time anyway, but consider, if this goes on for months, everything will be bankrupt and millions unemployed by the time this finishes. Who are you going to build a violin for then? As I tentatively said on Monday, it is a vain hope to think this will stop, and everything will start to be like before, so for instance anyone who stocks up at the (many) spring auctions IMHO needs his brain tested.

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I expect that some of my commissions will be canceled, as the supply of money for discretionary spending gets tighter.

The "big three" US automaker manufacturing plants are all shut down.

Yesterday alone, Italy had 627 deaths.

 

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I've been pretty sick this past week and I know quite a few others that are as well.  
My workplace is shut down so I'm out of work with zero income for the foreseeable future. 

On the bright side, spring has sprung and it's been nice to be out enjoying backyard activities in my time off. 
Yesterday afternoon was spent working on a N.Amati scroll in the 80° weather. 

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This week I was due to ship a new bow to a principal of one of the big US symphony orchestras - when I told him it was coming he asked to delay the trial and wanted his deposit back!  He has been told that they will not play again until the end of April but of course there is no guarantee that they will restart then.   

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Here in upstate NY (Rochester area), we currently have 46 confirmed cases in Monroe County(population about 750,000). Still low, but rising. New York State has issued pretty strict guidelines, and most non-essential things are closed. I don't feel too concerned about going out for essential things, but when I do, I'm wearing PPE, and sanitizing surfaces. My wife is a Nurse Practitioner at one of our very large hospitals. While she's not directly caring for Covid patients, the hospitals have instituted very strict guidelines on who can get in (virtually no visitors!). We live on 10 acres, so it's not too difficult to social distance here. I miss having the kids come over to visit.

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We have been in a "shelter in place" shutdown (so, to speak) here in the SF 8 county bay area since Tuesday.   Both my wife's biz and mine teeter on the edge of disaster most of the time anyway.  I have about 35 employees and she has 3.   It's really surreal to watch the bills come up on the computer to be paid, with zero money coming in. This is going to be devastating for us, even if we go back to normal in 3 weeks-not likely.  I can withstand it better than her little biz, the landlords (so far) are the biggest hurt (expense, with no relief) on small businesses during a shutdown, though all I hear is that orders are coming down to keep businesses from getting evicted, not much help.  But, we are not what's important at this exact moment.  Patience.  

    I hope all realize that this is not about the current numbers.  It's about not getting to Italy's numbers, and the less healthy. I know most know this, but I'ts amazing to hear some that just don't get this point.  I'm glad our administration (and his mentor at Fox) have come around....a little.  Tough pill to swallow, but we need to realize what's really important.  This virus, more than any other, carries well with healthy people showing NO signs.  That's just a recipe for disaster, as we have seen in other countries.  No doubt this will flatten the curve of infections, but the unknown future with all our income and $ value tied up in retail business is worrisome.  Oh well, it's kinda retirement for 3 weeks.

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I think it’s surprising that the powers that be haven’t even discussed freezing interest payments. The credit card companies are still charging their ~24% interest on credit card debt, And many Americans, especially the poorest, carry a tremendous amount of debt. The best way to help those people is to remove that burden from them, and nobody seems to be considering that option.

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Here in the UK been quite a week too! I had a holiday to Tenerife cancelled then during the week all my signwriting work cancelled , I do mostly work for TV dramas and restaurants. Gov closed all the pubs , people panic buying, the only thing to do is ride it out with everyone else. For an amateur I do have a good stock of wood so I have just started my sixth violin and have few other things in mind to pass the time. All in all just feel a bit weird

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One good thing....I'm getting a lot of reading done.  I recently bought out a luthiers stock with a ton of great luthier books. All I could think as I"m cataloging them, is that I want to keep them all! I'm getting the chance to read them these 3 weeks.  I didn't think I would have the chance to read them before I sold them , but I've just finished a few.  I never seem to have the time to do this, but I guess this is a silver lining in all of this.

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I wish all of you good health, strength and patience to get through this. Like PhilipKT, I'm one of the lucky ones, since as far as I know, the city of Paris is not going to dock my pay, but I know plenty of others, like my brother who plays in the orchestra of one of the world's biggest and most respected opera companies, and he's getting "farce majeured" out of his pay for the foreseeable future. Good luck to all of you!

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I'd love to talk about it, but as I recall in the "corona virus in cremona" we weren't to talk about this, or at least, I'm not supposed to.

So, I'll be staying out of this one and just wishing everyone luck, because you'll need it.

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I think people need to start really taking this seriously in regards to social distancing etc.. money comes secondary to peoples lives. A lot easier for many to do in the US compared to the Uk where most live in very close proximity  to others. Just heard a 34 old man died from California after visting Disneyland. :(

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34 minutes ago, Michael Appleman said:

I wish all of you good health, strength and patience to get through this. Like PhilipKT, I'm one of the lucky ones, since as far as I know, the city of Paris is not going to dock my pay, but I know plenty of others, like my brother who plays in the orchestra of one of the world's biggest and most respected opera companies, and he's getting "farce majeured" out of his pay for the foreseeable future. Good luck to all of you!

In my area there are three W2 orchestras, And perhaps four or five others that pay a significant wage as 1099 groups.

 I haven’t heard how the other groups are handling the shut down. American society does not frown on debt, so it is completely typical for families to have very little savings. I am incredibly lucky to have married A woman who absolutely refuses to accept any debt at all, so we are blessed to be debt-free,  and her two children are both very frugal and have good jobs, plus at the moment they are still able to work. 

I really want the government to address get relief very quickly, I’m surprised that the Democrats haven’t apparently pushed for it yet. That’s what we need more than anything else

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Thankfully, things here at the farm are fine.  I have no need to go anywhere else for months, if necessary, and lots to do.  Everything that I'm usually involved in outside my immediate area is currently shut down or radically curtailed for however long this crisis lasts, so my usual outside responsibilities have vanished.  OTOH, I'm more than a little concerned about all of the folks being impacted heavily by this, and hope that things improve before Civilization implodes or something.  God bless and keep you one and all.  :)

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8 minutes ago, PhilipKT said:

I really want the government to address get relief very quickly, I’m surprised that the Democrats haven’t apparently pushed for it yet. That’s what we need more than anything else

Where will the money come from? This question is in no way partisan.  Just a real question.

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2 minutes ago, David Burgess said:

Where will the money come from?

Bigger deficit spending.  And boy, oh boy, with no taxable income and money flying out, we are going to see some jaw-dropping deficits.  I like to try and figure out the impact of these things, but this is so bonkers my head hurts.

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Just now, David Burgess said:

Where will the money come from?

I don’t know where the money is coming from, for the things that are being discussed right now. One number I heard in this mornings briefing was two trillion dollars. Gosh where does that come from?

But what I’m suggesting now is not spending money, but legislation that will freeze interest payments. The credit card companies will no longer be charging interest. That isn’t money the government is spending at all. It is instead money that wage earners don’t have to pay at this time. So I suppose Citibank and the other Card companies will be “paying for it” in the sense of reduced income for a bit, but they can afford it.

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8 minutes ago, Violadamore said:

Thankfully, things here at the farm are fine.  I have no need to go anywhere else for months, if necessary, and lots to do.  Everything that I'm usually involved in outside my immediate area is currently shut down or radically curtailed for however long this crisis lasts, so my usual outside responsibilities have vanished.  OTOH, I'm more than a little concerned about all of the folks being impacted heavily by this, and hope that things improve before Civilization implodes or something.  God bless and keep you one and all.  :)

Can I come over?

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1 minute ago, PhilipKT said:

Can I come over?

How many rolls of Charmin and cans of olive oil is it worth to you?  :ph34r:  :lol:

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7 minutes ago, PhilipKT said:

Can I come over?

Dude, the last Gimp hasn't even escaped yet....

somewhere off in the distance ..."goodbye horses, I'm cryin',cryin over you" :lol:

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9 minutes ago, Don Noon said:

Bigger deficit spending.  And boy, oh boy, with no taxable income and money flying out, we are going to see some jaw-dropping deficits.  I like to try and figure out the impact of these things, but this is so bonkers my head hurts.

I suspect that things are economically transitioning to a "war footing".  What else, realistically, can "they" do?  :huh:

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