Before COVID-19, I was putting on a concert every Monday for the last six years that was preceded by a community Irish music session. And I was performing and producing other shows and events several times a month in several different capacities. I had a lot of work lined up on my calendar through August, all of which has been canceled.
If it weren’t for the handful of supporters I have making contributions online, I wouldn’t be OK at all, but I live on a small farm with a big garden, and combined with the patronage support I feel pretty fortunate to be staying at home.
I’m concentrating on where I want to take my music and what I want to bring to the table with the superb musicians I have had the great pleasure of working with here in Whatcom county.
I worry about the viability of my profession in the coming seasons. What is my own vulnerability to the virus if I go out and start to perform again when we are told it’s relatively safe to do so? What are the greater implications for our society, one example of which could be in the closing of the Canadian border. I work with some great Canadian artists. Will they be able to come down here in the foreseeable future? Will I be able to go up there? Will we even be able to cross the border without showing that we have had a vaccination?
There’s many more concerns but those are the main immediate ones.
I would tell future readers that the world was suddenly forced to slow way down. This was devastating to millions of people because of the loss of work, having social outlets taken away, and the impact of the illness itself – but also awakening to many millions as well. In Brazil, turtles started hatching on the beaches again. Massively smoggy air-polluted cities became newly visible from satellites. The list goes on - nature and the earth had been given a chance to breathe again. The question will be at that time, did we learn from this – or did we just find ways to continue to choke and burn the planet?
-- Jan Peters