We have been very much drawn into the Covid-19 crisis here at the Stringed Instrument Company, as we witness so many wonderful concerts being cancelled, and musical plans disrupted.
And our new workshop recruit from Germany, was to arrive in early April. But she is now stranded in Berlin and none of us know when she might be able to get here.
At the Stringed Instrument Company, we are putting stringent processes in place to lower the risk of cross-infection.
And we have some advice to help you as you continue to play at home or in small groups.
What we are doing in our showroom
Because Covid-19 can exist for up to 3 days on contact surfaces, we are taking the following measures:
We are asking everyone who wants to trial instruments or bows to wash their hands thoroughly first in our washroom, using soap and warm water. Paper towels are provided so you don’t have to share towels with anyone else.
Soap damages the “envelope” that surrounds the virus cell and destroys it very effectively.
Every time an instrument or bow is played, our workshop staff wipe the main contact surfaces afterwards, either with alcohol or with warm water and soap. We use 98% pure alcohol, and this will more than do the job.
The surfaces we are treating with alcohol are chinrests, bow frogs, fingerboards and unvarnished necks. In addition, we are using alcohol wipes on our eftpos terminal, doorknobs and the counters in the showroom and payment areas.
But we have to be very wary with alcohol on other surfaces!!! Varnish is very sensitive to alcohol and will usually melt and dissolve!
So please don’t bring your alcohol-based hand sanitizer to the showroom – if you use it before you try out an instrument, it could damage the varnish!!!
What can you do at home and when you’re playing with other people?
Handwashing is still the first and best resort.
Reminder: If your alcohol-based hand sanitizer is strong enough to kill Covid-19, it’s strong enough to damage your varnish!!!
And vodka (or your favourite gin or whisky) can still damage your varnish, but are too weak to kill Covid-19 – they’re around 40% alcohol by volume, and you need 60% at least.
Don’t swap instruments and bows with your friends!
Make sure you’re standing or sitting 2 metres apart – think about the amount of space you all need for some particularly wild bowing…
And stay at home if you’re sick.