Amid all the current conversation about coronavirus and its attendant concerns, you may be wondering how to protect yourself when playing in flute choirs or other public arenas. Here are some helpful tips, developed in collaboration with Stephen A. Mitchell, MD, a physician and member of the NFA’s Performance Health Care Committee.
The most effective way to protect yourself against the new coronavirus is by frequently washing your hands with soap and water and/or cleaning your hands with alcohol-based hand rub.
1. If you feel you may be unwell, stay home!
2. If possible at this time, do not share instruments during a rehearsal or concert.
3. Before rehearsal/performance begins:
a. Wash your hands well with soap and water and then use >60% alcohol-based hand rub.
b. Wipe down the lip plate and each key of every instrument with an alcohol wipe and then discard wipe. (Take care not to touch the pads with the alcohol wipe).
c. If possible, wrap an alcohol swab around a q-tip and swab down inside the embouchure hole.
d. Do not wipe down the wood on instruments with an alcohol wipe
4. Try not to touch your face with your hands until rehearsal is over. If you do, wipe hands and fingers with >60% alcohol-based hand rub or alcohol wipe before touching the flute.
5. When switching instruments, wipe the lip plate well before handing off the instrument to your partner.
6. After every rehearsal or performance: before putting the instrument into its case, first swab the inside of the flute and put the cloth in a plastic sandwich bag, then wipe down the lip plate and keys with an alcohol wipe, being careful not to touch the pads. Upon arriving home, wash the swab/cloth as soon as possible and throw away the plastic bag.