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How do you assume the coronavirus epidemic will affect your practicing, performing or teaching habits?

I'm going to continue using practice room pianos next week (before my term ends). However, I've bought some disinfectant spray (antiviral) this weekend, and plan to spray the keyboards of those practice room pianos.

Statistically, though, I assume the pianos will continue to be relatively safe for the next week - as the number of students using each keyboard will be relatively small (probably not more than 5 people over a day), and it's unlikely that anyone from such a small pool would have the virus already. So to some extent, spraying the keyboard may be a bit premature and panicky at least this coming week.

Last edited by 3am_stargazing; 03/08/20 04:22 PM.

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Originally Posted by 3am_stargazing
How do you assume the coronavirus epidemic will affect your practicing, performing or teaching habits?

I'm going to continue using practice room pianos next week (before my term ends). However, I've bought some disinfectant spray (antiviral) this weekend, and plan to spray the keyboards of those practice room pianos.

Statistically, though, I assume the pianos will continue to be relatively safe for the next week - as the number of students using each keyboard will be relatively small (probably not more than 5 people over a day), and it's unlikely that anyone from such a small pool would have the virus already. So to some extent, spraying the keyboard may be a bit premature and panicky at least this coming week.

Instead of spraying everything you touch with C2H5OH (don't forget all the door knobs, the piano stool, the piano lid, every human or animal or object you also touch..... wink ), why not just wash your hands, never ever touch your face with your hands (assume they're contaminated until proven otherwise, which of course you can never prove) - unless they've just been throughly washed -, and don't hug or kiss anyone?


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I would not go spraying pianos--not sure what's in that stuff, but moisture that could get between the keys seems as if it could be bad for the action, or could damage the finish on the wood around the keyboard. (I wouldn't let anyone spray my piano, for sure.) If you feel you have to disinfect, you can get alcohol wipes that evaporate quickly.


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The only way to be safe is to play in a hazmat suit. It said however on the news that coronavirus likes D sharps and often lives dormant in pianos inside the D sharp key. I understand many have said that playing with a hazmat suit is protective however many others have said this is fake news. I have therefore quarantined the D sharps on my piano and applied a 1cm radius which will mean the D or E's can only be touched with caution.

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Bennevis is correct:
But one addition. Anti-viral sprays are not effective. Surface cleaners need to be a minimum of 70% isopropyl alcohol. Not sure that can be used on keys.

The length of time this virus can live on surface objects is not fully known but can be up to 9 days so you may risk spreading it to your piano music; when you get home, I would assume the music is infected and go through the same process. You also would need to factor in how much these pianos were played in the previous week based on the potentially long period the virus can still be transferred


https://www.infectioncontroltoday.c...surfaces-amid-novel-coronavirus-outbreak

The incidence rate is not fully known


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The whole coronavirus panic is overblown. Just take reasonable precautions like I’m doing here and everything will be fine. smile

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Peroxide is useful for deep cleaning on yellowed keytops. It can be a bleaching agent, so caution around the sharps. It's also really good at killing stuff.
Alcohol should be avoided, again because of sharps. It's a solvent for dye and shellac, both of which are used on some sharps. You really don't want to pick up black dye and move it around.” Pianotech PTG

Better pianos have ebony sharps so dye solvent is not an issue. I assume most piano practice rooms, except Juilliard and Curtis, pianos’ sharps are dyed.

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Originally Posted by 3am_stargazing
How do you assume the coronavirus epidemic will affect your practicing, performing or teaching habits?
I'm going to continue to live my life. I'm a "clean" sort of person anyway.

I honestly do wonder sometimes if people today could handle things like a widespread Depression or the siege of Leningrad or The Blitz the way earlier generations could.

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Originally Posted by rmns2bseen

I honestly do wonder sometimes if people today could handle things like a widespread Depression or the siege of Leningrad or The Blitz the way earlier generations could.

Four score and twenty years ago, people didn't handle the so-called "Spanish Flu" (which actually originated in Kansas) very well..........


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What's the difference between catching coronavirus and catching a cold, or flu?

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Originally Posted by Sanfrancisco

Better pianos have ebony sharps so dye solvent is not an issue. I assume most piano practice rooms, except Juilliard and Curtis, pianos’ sharps are dyed.


They'll still have black dye on the sides of the keys.

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Originally Posted by bennevis
Originally Posted by 3am_stargazing
How do you assume the coronavirus epidemic will affect your practicing, performing or teaching habits?

I'm going to continue using practice room pianos next week (before my term ends). However, I've bought some disinfectant spray (antiviral) this weekend, and plan to spray the keyboards of those practice room pianos.

Statistically, though, I assume the pianos will continue to be relatively safe for the next week - as the number of students using each keyboard will be relatively small (probably not more than 5 people over a day), and it's unlikely that anyone from such a small pool would have the virus already. So to some extent, spraying the keyboard may be a bit premature and panicky at least this coming week.

Instead of spraying everything you touch with C2H5OH (don't forget all the door knobs, the piano stool, the piano lid, every human or animal or object you also touch..... wink ), why not just wash your hands, never ever touch your face with your hands (assume they're contaminated until proven otherwise, which of course you can never prove) - unless they've just been throughly washed -, and don't hug or kiss anyone?

You touch your face unconsciously though (many times an hour), so I don't think that's a very possible option. As for door knobs, I already open them with my sleeves rolled over my hands.

Washing hands at least once an hour is a good idea of course, in this epidemic.

Last edited by 3am_stargazing; 03/08/20 10:28 PM.

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Originally Posted by dogperson
Bennevis is correct:
But one addition. Anti-viral sprays are not effective. Surface cleaners need to be a minimum of 70% isopropyl alcohol. Not sure that can be used on keys.

The length of time this virus can live on surface objects is not fully known but can be up to 9 days so you may risk spreading it to your piano music; when you get home, I would assume the music is infected and go through the same process. You also would need to factor in how much these pianos were played in the previous week based on the potentially long period the virus can still be transferred


https://www.infectioncontroltoday.c...surfaces-amid-novel-coronavirus-outbreak

The incidence rate is not fully known

I'm going to lightly spray and then wipe down the keys with this stuff. On the website, the company claims it should kill (deactivate) coronaviruses.

I'll be helping other people as well. (Although as I said, I don't think the particular virus is likely to be here for another week).

It's designed for use on upholstery as well so I assume it will not remove dyes or cause any more damage than peoples' sweat could do to the keys and action anyway.
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Last edited by 3am_stargazing; 03/08/20 10:30 PM.

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Originally Posted by Zaphod
What's the difference between catching coronavirus and catching a cold, or flu?

Unfortunately, it seems to be a lot more deadly than flu. (And it will spread in populations with no pre-existing immunity, unlike flu).

Case fatality rate varies a lot with age though, I'd rather not spread this to older family members.

[Linked Image]

Also, in a worst case scenario (like in Italy at the moment), hospital beds could become full, and then the case fatality rates could rise a lot.

https://twitter.com/epsilon3141/status/1236288169672355843

Last edited by 3am_stargazing; 03/08/20 10:36 PM.

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Originally Posted by rmns2bseen
Originally Posted by 3am_stargazing
How do you assume the coronavirus epidemic will affect your practicing, performing or teaching habits?
I'm going to continue to live my life. I'm a "clean" sort of person anyway.

I honestly do wonder sometimes if people today could handle things like a widespread Depression or the siege of Leningrad or The Blitz the way earlier generations could.

The millions of people who died in events like WW2, probably wish people had handled things better.

In this epidemic, it will be mostly older people who will be killed, and we surely have a lot of responsibility to try to minimize its spread for their sake?

I know people are panicking early (this week). But in Italy things are already getting out of control (the number of deaths per day is increasing at a frightening speed there).

Last edited by 3am_stargazing; 03/08/20 10:40 PM.

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Originally Posted by 3am_stargazing

You touch your face unconsciously though (many times an hour), so I don't think that's a very possible option.

It is a very possible option, and I am deadly serious.

Touching your face with your hands is a sure way to infect yourself with coronavirus - or any virus -, if you have it on your hands. Just think of what your hands have touched in the past ten minutes, if you haven't been sitting at the piano and tickling the ivories. The virus cannot penetrate intact skin, but it penetrates mucous membranes (eyes, nose, mouth).


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Originally Posted by bennevis
Originally Posted by 3am_stargazing

You touch your face unconsciously though (many times an hour), so I don't think that's a very possible option.

It is a very possible option, and I am deadly serious.

Touching your face with your hands is a sure way to infect yourself with coronavirus - or any virus -, if you have it on your hands. Just think of what your hands have touched in the past ten minutes, if you haven't been sitting at the piano and tickling the ivories. The virus cannot penetrate intact skin, but it penetrates mucous membranes (eyes, nose, mouth).

Exactly it's one of the main ways to infect yourself, and you unconsciously will touch your face.

So just washing your hands is not enough. We will also need to disinfect the surfaces we touch, before we touch them.

If one is going to play a piano (which other people have played in the last 72 hours), then just washing one's hands before and after will unfortunately not be enough, as one might touch one's face multiple times in that hour without realizing it.

Spraying the key surfaces with a disinfectant (which should deactivate viruses), and then wiping it off, is the only way I can think of to solve the problem. Although of course the safest option would be to not play any public or shared pianos from now on.

Last edited by 3am_stargazing; 03/08/20 11:06 PM.

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Originally Posted by Zaphod
What's the difference between catching coronavirus and catching a cold, or flu?

Morbidity rate. Last time I checked it is around 3.4% for coronavirus vs. 0.1% for flu.
Colds, flu and corona spread through coughs and sneezes.
What I've read is that cv can infect from particles on exposed surfaces for up to 14 days.
Much useful information from (retired) UK Dr. John Campbell on his YT channel here:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCF9IOB2TExg3QIBu
As to the question of whether or not some people are getting overly anxious...we, in the USA are behind where we need to be (as of this date) in availability of diagnostic tests; we are (according to medical experts) at least a year out (at best) from a vaccine, and... we have no therapeutics to help kill the virus before it kills us. So, yes, I am concerned. So, e.g., is the government of Italy as evidenced by the decision to shut down an entire region very important to the country's economy.

Corona virus is frightening, because it is so easy to get infected with it, and the morbidity statistics are so high. Ebola and Marburg are more virulent with morbidity rates up to 90%, but the infection rates are lower. Read about that here: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6249600/

Finally, I **think** that if you take the same precautions you would take during flu season you would be prudent in doing so. Those things will help keep YOU safe. And, if YOU get sick, and want to help us, you could wear a mask, clean your hands before touching the practice or studio pianos.

This may all be "moot" soon if schools start closing.
I think we'll start seeing that happening sooner than later.

Aaargh. Enough virus talk tonight. Back to thinking about the piano and music...


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Originally Posted by bennevis
Four score and twenty years ago, people didn't handle the so-called "Spanish Flu" (which actually originated in Kansas) very well..........
Something like that today would cause complete societal breakdown. A hint of a toilet paper shortage and you have people tackling each other in Costcos in some places. (My area of the country is still pretty serene. We're usually kind of stoic in my neck of the woods anyway.)
Originally Posted by 3am_stargazing

The millions of people who died in events like WW2, probably wish people had handled things better.

If only they had had our social-media-fueled freakouts, the Nazis could've ruled the world.

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For some reason people have stripped supermarket shelves of toilet paper in my neck of the woods. I plan to handle lessons by using hand sanitizing gel on my hands before and after a lesson... oh, no, can't do that... the shelves have been stripped of tbat too! 😯

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