With a growing number of worldwide cases of the new Coronavirus (COVID-19), many touring bands might feel like this is a cause for concern. But in most cases, there is no reason to worry, experts say.
Is It Safe To Tour During The Coronavirus Outbreak?
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has risk assessment levels for travel by country, which are regularly updated.
Warning Level 3:
CDC recommends travelers avoid all nonessential travel to destinations with level 3 travel warnings, because of the risk of COVID-19.
Alert Level 2:
COVID-19 can be more serious in older adults and those with chronic medical conditions. Therefore, people in these groups should talk to a healthcare provider and consider postponing travel to destinations with level 2 travel notices.
Watch Level 1:
CDC does not recommend canceling or postponing travel to destinations with level 1 travel ratings. That’s because the risk of COVID-19 in these areas is thought to be low.
According to their most recent assessments, only China and Iran have widespread outbreaks and travel restrictions. Next on the list are Italy and South Korea, and then Japan at Level 2 and Hong Kong at Level 1.
Therefore, if your band is touring or playing shows elsewhere in the world, such as North or South America, or even Africa or Europe, there is no need to panic or cancel travel.
What You Need to Know About Coronavirus
Although researchers are still learning about the new Coronavirus, it appears that most people sickened by it do not get very ill at all. Infectious disease experts are urging the public to avoid mass hysteria and focus on facts. Right now, 80 percent of those infected have minor symptoms that don’t require medical treatment.
The virus can spread from one person to another, most likely through droplets of saliva or mucus carried in the air. These viral particles may be breathed in, land on surfaces that people will touch, or can be transferred when shaking hands.
If you are not exhibiting any symptoms, there is no need to change your daily routine. That means that if you and your band-mates are healthy, you are fine to perform. People with symptoms should self-quarantine and seek medical treatment. Therefore, contagious people should not be attending your shows, either.
How Can My Band Stay Healthy During the Coronavirus Outbreak?
If you plan to travel for your tour or shows, the CDC recommends you take the following routine precautions:
- Avoid contact with sick people.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
- Clean your hands often by washing them with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Clean your hands using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains 60%–95% alcohol.
- Soap and water should be used to cleanse if hands are visibly dirty.
- It is especially important to thoroughly cleanse your hands after certain activities. This includes going to the bathroom, before eating, and after coughing, sneezing or blowing your nose.
How to Take Advantage of a Break in Touring
As with any illness, it’s best to keep your germs to yourself. If you or your band-mates have any symptoms, take a break! Don’t go to work and spread it to your co-workers. And don’t perform if you aren’t feeling up to it.
Another option if you want to be extra cautious and avoid performing until more information is available about the viral outbreak. In that case, this would be a great time to take advantage of a slower schedule to focus on writing and practicing new materials, and working on your set design.
In conclusion, you and your band need to make final determinations about shows. But make sure you use common sense, avoid panic and hysteria, And take the time you need to put on the best performance possible.