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How are you planning on handling the transition during and after vaccination?

  • 1.  How are you planning on handling the transition during and after vaccination?

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 20 days ago
    So, we're in an odd period of transition. Most of my customers have been vaccinated. I am currently half vaccinated. (They didn't tell me which half…) But it will be another month before I am fully immune, and with the variants running rampant I feel it's very necessary to still be vigilant. 


    During the last year it was very rare for me to have to ask someone to wear a mask before I entered their house. Most people had read my email with Covid protocols and were fantastic about it. But I have begun to notice, that every day now I have to ask someone to put on a mask, and in a few instances they did, but were notably huffy about it. One unvaccinated person said, "I have to wear a mask in my own house?" I wanted to say, "If you want me to enter your house and tune your piano, yes." But of course, I didn't say that, and stood outside until he put on a mask.


    I always wore a mask for dust even before the pandemic and cleaned the keys before a tuning for germs ever since a piano teacher showed me her son's petri dish science experiment on the keys, which tested positive for all kinds of nasty germs, but it sure would be nice to talk to clients again without a mask on. 


    So, the question is, when do we stop wearing masks for tunings? If I am fully vaccinated and the client says they are vaccinated? Is it legal to ask if someone has been vaccinated? Is it even practical to make the effort to sort out who is and who isn't?  Is it legal or practical as a business policy to require only fully vaccinated clients before entering a home? Do you plan to tell them they don't have to wear a mask even if they have been vaccinated?


    How are you planning on handling the transition?


    ------------------------------
    Carl Radford, RPT

    Radford Piano Services, Inc. | Chicago, Illinois
    Ph: (773) 761-KEYS (5397) | Web: www.radfordpiano.com |
    Email: radfordpiano@gmail.com |
    ------------------------------


  • 2.  RE: How are you planning on handling the transition during and after vaccination?

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 20 days ago
    Carl,

    My personal choice is to not be vaccinated, and I only wear a mask when I have to. I have been tuning since May and I have had fewer than ten clients ask me to wear a mask, and only two wanted me to wear it the whole time I was in the house. So my policy is the opposite of yours. Nonetheless, you might consider what I have done, which is to recommend to a client another tuner, who has been vaccinated. That's happened only once so far. The understanding with the other tuner is that I expect this will be a one time substitution, and I will make the followup call for the next tuning. In your case, you could recommend a substitute for a client who does not meet your requirements. I believe this option is a courtesy a customer will understand and even appreciate.

    Since the beginning of this virus, my personal choice has been to take extra measures to support my immune system and particularly the microbiome. This article in today's New York Times is about a questioning and rethinking of the massive sanitation efforts that have been made to reduce the risk of getting Covid.

    The health of our bodies and microbiomes may depend on society's return to lifestyles that expose us to bacteria, despite the risks.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2021/04/23/opinion/covid-germs-health.html?campaign_id=2&emc=edit_th_20210424&instance_id=29700&nl=todaysheadlines&regi_id=29315747&segment_id=56296&user_id=9d72e17bcd70ce554d0524feb64bb191#commentsContainer

    Respectfully,

    David Bauguess

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    David Bauguess
    Grand Junction CO
    970-257-1750
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  • 3.  RE: How are you planning on handling the transition during and after vaccination?

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 20 days ago
    Hi Carl, there are at least "3 camps" on this topic. The first is "the silent majority" who see this issue is radioactive on the PTG lists, and don't want to trigger anybody. 2) Those who want to be as careful as humanly possible. 3) Those who are somewhere in the "denier" camp, or some milder variant of that mindset.
    I am now vaccinated, and continue to wear my mask at all times in customers' homes, and anywhere I'm likely to encounter someone (maskless when taking a 2 mile stroll through my semi-rural neighborhood until I see someone approaching me).
    While those in the medical "world" are rightly governed by HIPA rules regarding patient privacy, the rest of us are not legally constrained by those HIPA regulations. So you can set your own business policy, inform your customers about it, and take it from there. One can gently remind them about masking and distancing, or decline to enter the house if that's your choice. And, obviously, find a comfortable point between these poles.
    It's a strange situation we've been in for the past 15 months. Some communities (like eastern Massachusetts) are mostly compliant with CDC guidelines; other are not.

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    Patrick Draine
    Billerica MA
    978-663-9690
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  • 4.  RE: How are you planning on handling the transition during and after vaccination?

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 19 days ago

    This is one of those things you should consult with a lawyer about. Different states have different laws which affect the handling of private information, and you fall under the laws for your state. And, you are responsible for obeying the laws even if you don't know them. I hate paying the attorneys too, but sometimes you need to. 

    You might try sending an email beforehand saying that you would greatly appreciate it if those who haven't been vaccinated would wear a mask around you. Those who don't wear the mask you'll assume are vaccinated and won't ask about, so you'd appreciate their honesty. People generally do well with the honor system because they like being treated like adults.

    Personally, I do what the county requires (which is how California works currently). I don't ask clients to do anything as they either do it on their own or have a good reason not to (already been vaccinated, has difficulty breathing, etc.), and they usually let me know within the first minute of my visit.

    Whatever you choose to do, keep in mind that you're an invited guest in their home. They don't have to listen to you, and you don't have to work for them. I like David's suggestions of referrals for those clients you don't want to work with. Sometimes it's better that way anyway. 



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    Benjamin Sanchez, RPT
    Piano Technician / Artisan
    (805) 315-8050
    www.professional-piano-services.com
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  • 5.  RE: How are you planning on handling the transition during and after vaccination?

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 19 days ago
    I wear a mask to the door, as I think most people expect me to show up wearing one. I know the masks probably don't do much, but I'm a businessman so I do what I think the customer approves of. If they say they don't care, I'll take it off. But I always keep my distance. I've had a few ask if I was vaccinated, and I tell them no, I know too much about it. They almost always acknowledge that it's a personal choice and are ok with that. As the vaccine doesn't prevent anyone from transmitting the virus or getting sick from the virus themselves I'm actually a little more careful around them because they seem to think they can't transmit the disease even if they are asymptomatic. They'll give up most distancing and mask wearing and resume "normal" life.

    I don't think we need an attorney, but if you have access it wouldn't hurt. I have prepaid legal, so if it was a question, I could ask.

    I'll probably not get rehired in the local school system because they'll likely make vaccination imperative. C'est le vie.

    I understand why people want to get vaccinated, and why businesses may incorporate a mandatory vax card. Everyone who listens to the news believes the vax is safe and effective. I have a different take, and won't get into it here, but I respect other's opinions and don't want to upset anybody. If I go to the convention, I"ll be wearing a mask and all that is required, except if a vax is mandated.

    Paul McCloud
    San Diego




    Benjamin Sanchez


    This is one of those things you should consult with a lawyer about. Different states have different laws which affect the handling of private information, and you fall under the laws for your state. And, you are responsible for obeying the laws even if you don't know them. I hate paying the attorneys too, but sometimes you need to.

    You might try sending an email beforehand saying that you would greatly appreciate it if those who haven't been vaccinated would wear a mask around you. Those who don't wear the mask you'll assume are vaccinated and won't ask about, so you'd appreciate their honesty. People generally do well with the honor system because they like being treated like adults.

    Personally, I do what the county requires (which is how California works currently). I don't ask clients to do anything as they either do it on their own or have a good reason not to (already been vaccinated, has difficulty breathing, etc.), and they usually let me know within the first minute of my visit.

    Whatever you choose to do, keep in mind that you're an invited guest in their home. They don't have to listen to you, and you don't have to work for them. I like David's suggestions of referrals for those clients you don't want to work with. Sometimes it's better that way anyway.

    ------------------------------
    Benjamin Sanchez, RPT
    Piano Technician / Artisan
    (805) 315-8050
    www.professional-piano-services.com





  • 6.  RE: How are you planning on handling the transition during and after vaccination?

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 19 days ago
    I, as well as most of my customers have now been vaccinated.

    My wife works in the scientific field and is well connected to researchers and the literature and her company insists on continued caution, so I wear my mask, even in households where others do not.

    It is my belief that most of us have now already been at least exposed, if we have not actually had the virus, so for many continued precautions are probably unnecessary, but my brother in law is a hospital technician with continuing horror stories and my wife has connections that are quite well connected to the medical and research fields and are still advising continuing precautions.

    I don't know.

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    Blaine Hebert
    Duarte CA
    626-795-5170
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  • 7.  RE: How are you planning on handling the transition during and after vaccination?

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 19 days ago
    Pre vaccination, I told clients I was masking up and distancing, and preferred they stayed out of the room.  50 % of my clients masked up in return.   It worked, I haven't been sick.  Now I'm vaccinated, I let them stay in the room as long as they are distanced and I'm still masking up.  Many clients are vaccinated as well, and only 25% mask up.   There are mask orders (ordered by the counties and enforced by businesses) in the Orlando area.  I'm masking up at least till those mask orders expire,  and probably longer.   I donate blood every 2 months, and they check for antibodies.  Post vaccine, I'm suddenly positive for covid antibodies.  I will use that test going forward to make sure my vaccine is  good.   If I'm suddenly negative for antibodies, it's time to get another vaccine.

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    Bob Maret, RPT
    Orlando FL
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  • 8.  RE: How are you planning on handling the transition during and after vaccination?

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 19 days ago
    Bob,

    Glad to hear how things are working out for you.

    With regard to your statement, "It worked, I haven't been sick." That's actually an unfalsifiable statement because you have no control group. (You being the only subject.) I could also say my not wearing masks "worked" because I didn't get sick. Well, actually, there was a Saturday/Sunday in November that I wasn't feeling well. And my 17-year-old son was sick 7 days after I was, and he lost his sense of smell. But at any rate, most likely I had Covid and the only symptoms were mild fatigue and a temperature one degree above normal. I watched football in bed Saturday and Sunday, took a couple naps each day, and that was pretty much it. By the following Tuesday, I was doing intervals on my bicycle, and felt normal.

    With regard to antibodies, it's not true that one must test positive for antibodies to be immune to C19. All antibodies diminish, but there are things called T cells that remember how to fight off the virus. Nobody is sure yet if that immunity applies to the vaccine, but it does apply to a C19 recovery. Even with a C19 infection and recovery, the antibodies diminish. But the immunity remains. (There were many people who recovered from SARS-1 who either never got C19, or recovered easily. They are both coronaviruses, and there is some transfer of immunity (in some people) who have been exposed to a coronavirus in the past.)

    Here in Mississippi, I will ask a person if they prefer I wear a mask in their home. Lately, two people who both were vaccinated wanted me to wear a mask inside because I had not been vaccinated. Which is quite strange, given the purported success of the vaccine. It's like they don't trust it unless everyone else has been vaccinated. I don't understand that mindset.

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    John Formsma, RPT
    New Albany MS

    Live not by fear or lies.
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  • 9.  RE: How are you planning on handling the transition during and after vaccination?

    Posted 19 days ago
    Hello John.

    You don't have to understand their mindset.  All you have to do when they want you to tune their piano and ask you to wear a mask, either wear a mask or tell them you don't want to mask up and tell them you don't want to service their piano.

    It's just a matter of plain good old courtesy.

    Peter

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    Petrus Janssen
    Peachtree City GA
    678-416-8055
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  • 10.  RE: How are you planning on handling the transition during and after vaccination?

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 19 days ago
    Right on Petrus. I got a new Steinway B client because the other tuner called would not remove their shoes or put shoe booties over them.

    ------------------------------
    Larry Messerly, RPT
    Bringing Harmony to Homes
    www.lacrossepianotuning.com
    ljmesserly@gmail.com
    928-899-7292
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  • 11.  RE: How are you planning on handling the transition during and after vaccination?

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 19 days ago
    Of course I agree, which is why I always ask. And I have no problem taking off my shoes. Barefoot is better anyway, especially for us Neanderthals down in the Sip! ;)

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    John Formsma, RPT
    New Albany MS

    Live not by fear or lies.
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  • 12.  RE: How are you planning on handling the transition during and after vaccination?

    Posted 19 days ago
    Exactly!

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    Petrus Janssen
    Peachtree City GA
    678-416-8055
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  • 13.  RE: How are you planning on handling the transition during and after vaccination?

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 19 days ago
    John, there is a good reason why your customers who had been vaccinated wanted you to wear a mask.  I would ask you to do the same.  Why, when I have been vaccinated twice and have now achieved full immunity?  After all, the liklihood that I will contract the disease is vanishingly small.  If you were carrying the virus and were in the infectious stage and I were in close proximity to you for a period of time, then we would be sharing air.  As you exhale, you are sending out Covid 19 particles into the air, and I am inhaling some of this active particles.  They would go into my respiratory tract (nose, throat, lungs,etc) and take residence.  I won't get sick, but when I come upon another person where neither of us are masking, then I can potentially infect him or her because I am a carrier.

    It's not strange at all if you follow the science.  We have to take a measured view of what success is presently.  Almost a third of the country is fully vaccinated and not likely to infect other people except for the circumstance above.  We are not near herd immunity yet.  It is not a matter of not trusting the vaccine, it is a matter of recognizing the limitations of where we are.  Here in New Hampshire, we now no longer have mask mandates.  Yet many businesses still require a mask for you to enter their domain.  And while we have a goodly number of people vaccinated, many are choosing to mask when they go to grocery store, etc. etc.  Why slow to a crawl when you are still 20 yards from the finish line?

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    William Truitt
    Bridgewater NH
    603-744-2277
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  • 14.  RE: How are you planning on handling the transition during and after vaccination?

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 19 days ago
    Will,

    Several of us are discussing these things on the off-topic Anything COVID-19 community. We would be happy to have you join in the conversation.

    Because of complaints in PTG-L, the settings for that community are by invitation only. Only those invited can view the already posted information. I'll send you an invitation and you can read what has already been posted. And then join in the discussion if you'd like.

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    John Formsma, RPT
    New Albany MS

    Live not by fear or lies.
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  • 15.  RE: How are you planning on handling the transition during and after vaccination?

    Posted 18 days ago
    Carl - very timely topic...

    It has been an ongoing challenge this last year to parse information from policy sources as opposed to purely medical information. As with any science, part of the process is adapting to changing data as time goes on. Initially, it was thought that contact through touching things was the main transmission vector. Even though that is no longer the case, a whole industry has sprung up to sanitize all surfaces. (Yes, it's still a healthy idea to wash up and avoid touching your face...) Once it was determined that more of this virus is spread through the air - especially by the process of the vocal cords breaking up the droplets to a smaller size to be able to hang in the air, masking became the shield that slows transmission. All around the world, the efficacy of masks has been proven. Yet data shows that masking mostly matters indoors, especially while talking within close proximity, or sharing the same air for long periods without adequate ventilation. (Standing close together outside while talking has some danger.) While some people's immune system seems to handle this novel virus, in others - even with strong immune systems, the virus has the effect of turning the immune system against the body causing immense harm and even death. The range of ages and physical conditions of those with serious sickness and death has been randomly wide, which makes me take this very seriously.

    Congratulations on getting your first vaccine! Realize that data at this point suggests that you are actually 80% protected 2 weeks after your first Moderna or Pfizer shot. That should give you some relief as you move through this transition period. Infection rates in the Chicago area are down, but still troublingly high. I too am beginning to see a few clients that answer the door without a mask, yet all have been comfortable with my request to stay a room apart while I work. You will achieve that 95% or so protection 2 weeks after your second shot. It has been a process for me to mentally accept the risk reduction that the vaccine provides. (I've just recently passed the "fully vaccinated" threshold...)

    My primary concern the last year was the possibility of being a vector for transmission through asymptomatic infection. For me, that will lead me to continue masking once the clients no longer mask. (Bonus has been I haven't experienced even a sniffle during the last year!) Reading the latest data seems to indicate that fully vaccinated people can share space in safety and even 1 vaccinated person should be fine with an unvaccinated person without comorbidities. (Almost no risk to the vaccinated and a slight risk to the unvaccinated.) More data will emerge as there are more "breakout infections" of those vaccinated to see if they are contagious. (Rember, 95% isn't complete protection!)

    I fully expect my process of adapting to what is safe and what is not to be an ongoing learning experience driven by local infection rates, new varients, and client behavior.

    Be well!

    Ron Koval

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    Ron Koval
    Chicagoland
    rontuner@hotmail.com
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  • 16.  RE: How are you planning on handling the transition during and after vaccination?

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 18 days ago

    I am vaccinated as are many of my customers (though not all). I still mask and still ask customers to mask even if vaccinated. The variants remain a concern. It might be noted that California currently has very low infection rates which can be attributed to increasing vaccinations and general compliance with strict masking requirements.

    My covid protocols are posted on my website and customers who book appointments are directed there to read and acknowledge. 



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    David Love RPT
    www.davidlovepianos.com
    davidlovepianos@comcast.net
    415 407 8320
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  • 17.  RE: How are you planning on handling the transition during and after vaccination?

    Posted 16 days ago
    Another thought moving forward.

    Entering another house, there probably isn't much benefit for those that live there to mask to reduce your potential viral load - UNLESS they are talking to you, especially within the 6' zone.

    If you are nervous as things change, up your mask level to offer more protection for yourself and transmission to others. Fit is important - If you are breathing around the mask, rather than through it really isn't helping as much as it could. Double masking is an option, but I've found the level III fog-free disposables a good option to wear with glasses. I get them from primodental online. I clock about 8-10 hours wearing time before replacing.

    Ron Koval

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    Ron Koval
    Chicagoland
    rontuner@hotmail.com
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  • 18.  RE: How are you planning on handling the transition during and after vaccination?

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 15 days ago
    Thank you for all your comments and suggestions.

    It seems like most clients now volunteer their vaccination status within the first 30 seconds of entering the door. I have found that if everyone is vaccinated, I ask them if they're ok with removing my mask if they are as well, and so far they are happy to. If it's uncertain, or if there are other unvaccinated people in the home, then I'll continue masking as usual.

    Based on your comments, I have decided, at least for now, upon the following response to my website and pre-tuning confirmation email to all my clients:

    Covid-19 Health and Safety Protocols

    (In accordance with the Illinois Department of Health) 

    I am now fully vaccinated, however I will continue to wear a mask and latex gloves for your protection.

    A mask is required for any unvaccinated person coming into the room within my proximity for my protection.

    Please keep a minimum 6 foot distance from each other, children and pets.

    I will disinfect the keys before the tuning.

    You can help by providing access to the washroom and paper towels for hand washing.

    If anyone in your home is not feeling well or if you would prefer to postpone the appointment for a later date, please let me know so we can reschedule. 

    If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me by telephone or email.




    One of the things I have always admired and respected about piano technicians is that we are stubbornly independent cusses by nature (myself included), so I shouldn't be surprised, but I have to say I am disappointed, in a few of the responses that still flaunt masks and vaccines. At the same time it makes me realize how lucky I am to live where I do, where this has not been an issue. And it also makes me realize that getting to herd immunity is going to be a challenge until and unless attitudes begin to change.


    ------------------------------
    Carl Radford, RPT

    Radford Piano Services, Inc. | Chicago, Illinois
    Ph: (773) 761-KEYS (5397) | Web: www.radfordpiano.com |
    Email: radfordpiano@gmail.com |
    ------------------------------



  • 19.  RE: How are you planning on handling the transition during and after vaccination?

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 15 days ago
    My approach is very similar to yours as are my stated protocols. I find people very willing to share their status re vaccinations and appreciative when they realize we respect their health concerns. I would go further to say that I have used this basic approach for the last year and have remained operating at full capacity during that time.

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    David Love RPT
    www.davidlovepianos.com
    davidlovepianos@comcast.net
    415 407 8320
    ------------------------------