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M.A. Bellingham

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Sep 4, 2021, 9:30:48 AMSep 4
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Hi everyone,

I read the tales of groups starting up with great interest, thank you for sharing your stories and precautions taken.

But, I'd also like to hear from those NOT starting up right away.  My struggle isn't really "fear", but just trying to do my (our) part.

When our health department asks us to change our behaviors or reduce the size of our contacts right now, I think, "Sure, we can do that." But looking around my community, 14 people in a handbell ensemble _not_ meeting is a drop in the bucket when bars, schools, university, and other mass events are still going forward. Is 14 ringers 'doing their part' enough?

I haven't totally shut us down yet, we are just delaying the decision to start until later this month for a potential October start instead of the usual September kickoff. I haven't done the maths, but I'd guess ~65% of the ringers replied in agreement to 'wait a month and see what Delta does.'

I'd love to hear from others who haven't restarted yet, and to hear how and why you arrived at the decision. We definitely need handbells, it's been too long! But maybe we need to double down and  get through one more period of less contact, I don't know. 

Thank you for your input,
MA

M.A. Bellingham
2 churches, 1 community group 

J.-C. Coolen

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Sep 26, 2021, 7:21:59 AMSep 26
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I'm working with a number of choirs, vocal and handbell, towards returning to in-person rehearsal.

First, I've found it important to realize that all my groups *will* return to in-person rehearsal, at some point! The question is, when, and with what modifications, so that:

a) rehearsals are as safe as we feel they should be (there is always some risk--but, are the proposed modifications reducing the risk to a level that is acceptable?), and

b) the ringers/singers are themselves comfortable participating in such a modified in-person rehearsal.

I'm finding there are a number of factors, that all need to be integrated into a custom solution for each choir (and each of these may very well be a different level of restrictive...):

1. What are the restrictions, if any, established by the public health authorities in your area?

2. What are the restrictions, if any, established by your rehearsal venue?

3. What are the recommendations from the scientific research re safe practices for the type of in-person rehearsal you'd like to have? (especially relevant for in-person singing rehearsals, with their greater risk of aerosol projection/transmission of virus...)

4. After working out a proposed rehearsal approach, including modifications to your pre-pandemic in-person rehearsal approach that meets the criteria of 1-3, above, what are the feelings of your ringers to rehearsing in-person under those proposed modifications?

For me, in approaching a return to in-person rehearsal with my choirs, I want the rehearsal to be comfortably safe (and I'm personally on the cautious end of the spectrum, in this regard); and, I want my ringers/singers to *feel* safe in attending such in-person rehearsals.

With my in-person rehearsals, I'm also incorporating a hybrid Zoom component for those rehearsals where one or more ringers/singers is not comfortable attending the in-person rehearsals. (So far, I have a ringer ringing from home because she's unvaccinated, and some of the in-person ringers would not participate in in-person rehearsal if there was an unvaxxed ringer present; and, I have singers who are not yet comfortable being present in-person with other singers, even with the modifications we're planning.)

I think the main question is: Are your in-person rehearsals, with modifications, sufficiently safe to protect your rehearsal participants from COVID transmission? If so, I think you could feel free to go ahead with rehearsals.

FWIW!

J.-C. Coolen
Greater Toronto Area


At 07:30 AM 2021-09-04 -0600, you wrote:
Hi everyone,

I read the tales of groups starting up with great interest, thank you for sharing your stories and precautions taken.

But, I'd also like to hear from those NOT starting up right away.  My struggle isn't really "fear", but just trying to do my (our) part.


When our health department asks us to change our behaviors or reduce the size of our contacts right now, I think, "Sure, we can do that." But looking around my community, 14 people in a handbell ensemble _not_ meeting is a drop in the bucket when bars, schools, university, and other mass events are still going forward. Is 14 ringers 'doing their part' enough?

I haven't totally shut us down yet, we are just delaying the decision to start until later this month for a potential October start instead of the usual September kickoff. I haven't done the maths, but I'd guess ~65% of the ringers replied in agreement to 'wait a month and see what Delta does.'

I'd love to hear from others who haven't restarted yet, and to hear how and why you arrived at the decision. We definitely need handbells, it's been too long! But maybe we need to double down and  get through one more period of less contact, I don't know.Â

Thank you for your input,
MA

M.A. Bellingham
2 churches, 1 community groupÂ
mabell...@gmail.comÂ

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