This isn’t the usual article you get to read from me. Typically, I would be going out to concerts, interviewing local bands, reviewing new albums, but right now is not the time. Like many others, I’ve been staying in the comfort of my home, social distancing and not leaving the house unless it’s to go to the grocery store or for a solo walk by the waterfront. It’s an unprecedented time that we’re living in.
Though the dread that is the COVID-19 pandemic is constantly hanging over our heads, the Canadian music community has never rallied stronger to bring some hope into the world. The punches are being thrown at the industry like it’s a UFC fight. The Annual Juno Awards were cancelled, small gigs postponed, entire tour legs rescheduled or cancelled. All this is totally justified, but it’s heartbreaking, nonetheless. But what have artists been doing instead? Well, Max from the Arkells started daily ‘Flatten The Curve Music Classes’ on Instagram Live to entertain and connect with fans. Toronto’s Scott Helman did something similar and broadcasted a live concert and featured some familiar faces like the members from Valley and The Reklaws and Gianni Luminati from Walk Off The Earth. Toronto’s Substrata even substituted their gig at the Bovine Sex Club with a “Quarantine Livestream” (You can find it on their Instagram @substrataband) Many others are joining in the effort to connect with fans and to ultimately shed some happiness and light onto dark times with music.
As much as I want to talk about how I’ve almost learned an entire set worth of songs thanks to Max’s live streams, I feel like I have a responsibility to briefly talk about what you can do to flatten the curve and to lessen the spread of COVID-19. Here’s a list:
- Wash your hands often for at least 20 seconds. You can even sing the chorus to the Arkells’ new single “Years In The Making” or Britney Spears’ “Oops… I Did It Again” to help you out.
- When coughing or sneezing, do so into a tissue or into the bend of your arm.
- Avoid touching your eyes, mouth, and nose.
- Practice social distancing! (If you were one of the students partying at Queen’s… I’m looking at you)
This is a small list but there’s a lot more information you can find on the World Health Organization website as well as the Government of Canada website.
So, in the meantime, read a book, binge some trashy TV, listen to music, write some music, do some yoga, support your local small businesses, and learn an Arkells song and chat with Max Kerman from the comfort of your own bed.
Stay safe, and happy social distancing.