Well, it’s been an interesting few weeks to say the least. We have all watched the events unfold over the last couple months, culminating in all the recent changes that have affected our way of life and economy in a very short time. I can imagine we’re all experiencing a lot of different emotions right now. I know I am. It feels like I went to sleep in one world and woke up in another.
In late January I started really paying attention to the Corona Virus and was following closely the events transpiring, at the time, in China. I started following a couple different Youtubers that were breaking down the data and what to expect going forward. They were urging people to start stocking up on food and start taking precautions for what more and more was looking like a probable pandemic based on the known rate of infection and the mortality rate of COVID-19, aka "The Corona Virus".
For several weeks, I vacillated back and forth between being very concerned, and even urging several friends to consider taking precautions and start preparing for something big, to assuming this would all just blow over like previous health scares in my lifetime have. Most of my friends playfully made fun of me and assured me there was nothing to worry about. I’m somewhat of a hypochondriac about germs and disease by default, and so I thought maybe I was just blowing the whole thing out of proportion. I mean, after all, I’m no virologist and what do a few random Youtubers really know anyway.
So, eventually I got tired of paying so much attention to the whole story and since no one else seemed very concerned, I sort of forgot about it for a couple weeks. I even wrote a blog post back on the 9th of March, less than two weeks ago, where I downplayed things and basically said there’s not much to see here, which more and more was how I was starting to feel at the time.
Since then, as we all know, things started taking a much more serious turn in parts of the world and in the USA, where I’m from. First a few dozen cases, then a few hundred, then a couple thousand and growing. As of this writing, there are now 10,781 cases in the USA and over 230,000 cases worldwide, with cases doubling on average every four days.
The last few days in particular have seemed somewhat surreal. I’ve been describing the feeling to friends and family as the feeling of being in a movie. I feel like I’m the character in the latest Hollywood blockbuster about an outbreak. Except, as we all know, this isn’t a movie. This is our reality at the moment.
When I was younger, I used to always say that I wished I was living in a more interesting time. I would read about more tumultuous and volatile times in history, like the 1960s for example, and look at all the amazing art and music that was inspired by the challenges of that generation and wonder what it would have been like to have been alive in such interesting and culturally vibrant times. And, well, although this isn’t exactly what I was hoping for in terms of living in more interesting times, I think we can all sense the historical significance of what we’re living through at the moment. The significance is palpable.
It’s taken me a few days to sort of begin to process the changes we’re going through and will likely continue to go through for the next few months, or possibly longer. A lot of questions remain unanswered. How long will this last? What will the short and long term impact be on the economy? What will the impact be on the music and music licensing industries? What will the impact be on my business endeavors? What will the impact be on our social lives and our mental health?
I don’t have all the answers to these questions and I don’t think anyone does at the moment. For now, I’m simply taking things day by day, doing my best to adapt to what’s unfolding in the world. I think that’s the best we can do; just deal with things as they come.
As a fellow musician, I hope it goes without saying that my thoughts are with everyone affected by the COVID-19 pandemic both in the music industry, and in general, around the world. The good news is that since HTLYM and HTLYM Premium is for the most part online, and doesn’t require offline interaction, my team and I will be continuing to operate as usual. Myself, Gary Gray and everyone connected to HTLYM remain committed to providing the best resources available to songwriters and musicians working in the licensing space during these challenging times. Regardless of what changes happen as a result of the COVD-19 pandemic, we will adapt accordingly.
I’ve been thinking a lot of different ways that we can better help our community of songwriters and musicians out there during these difficult times. At some point I’ll likely be introducing several new programs and discounts our community will be able to take advantage of during this period of uncertainty and increased time spent inside. At some point, when the timing feels right. For the time being, I’m just going to take this all in and focus on living life in the moment.
For now, I just want to say, hang in there. I’m here for you in whatever capacity I’m able to be. If you need anything, feel free to reach out or leave your comments below. How has your life changed the last few weeks? Are you working from home? Have you lost gigs? Are you working on more music as a result of spending more time inside? What good do you see coming from all of this?
Every crisis presents both danger and opportunity and this situation is clearly no exception.
3/19/2020 10:38:24 am
Hey thanks! Stay safe, we’re all in this together
3/19/2020 11:27:30 am
Same to you Michael!
3/19/2020 02:31:09 pm
Just wanted to say great post/email and indeed, let's all hang in there... all be compassionate and try our best to get through all this together.
3/19/2020 02:55:51 pm
3/19/2020 10:29:34 pm
This was a great read. Thanks and stay safe.
3/19/2020 11:33:55 am
Well written piece, Aaron, many thanks. Yes, it is a very surreal world now, waking up thinking it was a bad dream, but then switch on the TV and it's wall to wall coverage of the CV - day and night, you can't escape it! Over here in London UK, it's virtual lock-down with all gigs cancelled and not even being able to meet up with musician friends for a jam session. At least, I've got my music shed in the back garden to while away the hours!
3/19/2020 11:43:11 am
Stay safe Terry! Most of the US is in the same boat. On the bright side, I have a lot more time to focus on songwriting and music for the next few weeks :)
Our hearts are going out to those who are losing out during this critical time, but while there are so many people focusing on what is being lost in the arts—cancelled Broadway shows, cancelled gigs, and cancelled networking opportunities—that we had begun to lose sight of what might be gained. Here are some ideas for how to spend that time moving your creative empire forward—especially for the D.I.Y. Rock Star. #changeinplans #diyrockstar #sxsw #prejippie #bloomingprejippie #coronavirus #quarantine #selfquarantine #musicianlifestyle #newreality #stateofemergency http://bit.ly/Ep119quarantineblog
3/19/2020 02:57:48 pm
Thanks so much, good ideas!
3/19/2020 07:07:15 pm
We are witnessing the fall of the American Empire....it’s going to spiral into depression....two or more months with economy shut down......Economical Armageddon....
3/20/2020 03:36:03 am
Haha - that's cheered up my morning!
3/20/2020 07:11:31 am
Don't believe everything you read on the internet by people named Lester! His glass is not exactly half full.
Janelle Vanbrocklin (long lost Cousin and biggest fan)
3/20/2020 11:08:55 am
This was well written and hit home on so many levels.
3/20/2020 07:04:14 pm
Stay safe Janelle! We'll get past this as we have many other outbreaks and pandemics throughout history.
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