[Harp-L] Harmonica Playing and Covid-19

John Schaman jschaman@xxxxx
Sun Apr 26 19:33:38 EDT 2020

Dear Harmonica Community,

I haven't sent a post to harp-l in seven years, as I simply haven't had anything of interest to the harmonica afficionados in this community. I continued to have my HELP, Harmonica Exercise for Lung Program, monthly sessions at my clinic until the last one at the beginning of March. At that time, my life as I knew it ended, and I'm sure you can all tell similar stories. All aspects of my medical work in cardiac rehabilitation and sports medicine had to stop and particularly the harmonica program. It is for this reason I am posting to you now.

As a fellow member of the harp brotherhood, although a minor one, I am also a medical doctor for 42 years. I would like to share with you my thoughts and concerns regarding the Covid-19 pandemic. Covid-19 has turned our world upside down and inside out and we wonder if our previous world will ever return.

Playing harmonica in the presence of others poses a significant risk regarding the coronavirus. As we all know the virus attacks the lungs and the air passages, although it has many other targets. I was registered for the Harmonica Collective in Orlando in March, and the North Carolina Harp Fest a week later. These were canceled. As you can imagine, the very deep inhaling and exhaling involved in all of our harmonica endeavours can spread the virus with extreme efficiency. Deep drawing and enjoying those bluesy diatonic bends is a perfect recipe for sucking the virus deep into your lungs. And, if you harbour the virus, blow notes provide an excellent way to infect others. Physical distancing you say? Not going to work! The Canadian 2 m. distance and the US 6 foot distance is not adequate in such a scenario. We now know that even breathing, let alone talking and playing harmonica, puts the virus into an aerosol mode, that has a half-life of 1.1 to 1.2 hours. That means that in a room with even a few harmonica players, if one has Covid-19, after 15-20 minutes, all are likely to become infected. I hope you will watch my video below, with information that isn't made very clear by our government leaders and health authorities.

I created this video (link is below) as a way of connecting with my patients, as our weekly cardiac rehab program, and especially the ECG monitoring and group support, stopped suddenly in early March. Practicing medicine by phone and video is much harder work than I expected and more time consuming! My feelings, after hours and hours of research and contemplation, left me with a feeling of disconnection from what has been presented and is being presented by our government representatives and our media. Not that anything presented is false or grossly incorrect. I just feel a different thrust might be more effective in getting through to a significant segment of our population, who have not bought into and not understood the importance of each citizen's actions regarding Covid-19. By providing concise information of what we need to do, and more-so WHY, will hopefully engender a feeling of "belonging" in what needs to be a total group effort in battling the virus. A single citizen's failure in this regard can have dire consequences, not just on this individual, but on our society as a whole, as well as on our economy and our healthcare system! Hence the video: Covid-19: Mitigation VS Suppression <https://youtu.be/RkMtISxroww>. I hope you will take the time to watch it. It could save your life or that of someone in your family, your community, or our harmonica fraternity. Please spread the message to your family, friends, colleagues, everyone you know, and everyone you don't know! We’re very close to turning the corner, the curve is flattening. We can’t get complacent. Still too many deaths!

https://youtu.be/RkMtISxroww <https://youtu.be/RkMtISxroww>

J. P. Schaman, M.D.
Ontario Aerobics Centre
1010 Hopewell Creek Road
Breslau, Ontario
N0B 1M0


J. P. Schaman Clinic:                http://www.schamanMD.com/
Harmonica-Lung Program:        http://www.harmonicaMD.com/
Cardiac Fitness Association:      http://www.cfaheart.com/

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