Probably the weirdest thing about the pandemic [for musicians, I mean] is the lack (OK, COMPLETE DISAPPEARANCE) of performance opportunities. Yes, you can perform streaming online, etc (and outdoors, maybe with the right set up and people who can support the situation technically) - but honestly, the whole draw for (apology for the apostrophes) 'collaborative folk' was the idea of performing with others. Like, Live*.
This month, I've had to opt out of my choral gig (private school), because singing and Covid 19 don't go well together (ultimately, a personal decision). I still do have my church gig, where circumstances are very distanced and safe/non-choral. But wow, is it jarring emotionally to be so musically separated from my usual "normal'. I haven't done a show since February. I have no future concerts planned (not really), and everything feels like I'm planning from week to week.
I've compensated with other activities (i.e. more experiments in the kitchen/trying out recipes/baking, my dogs are ECSTATIC about how many hours I can devote to them, and I'm developing a backyard gardening/landscaping scheme, etc). But the hardest thing, overall, is not connecting with people on a musical level. I think I'm trying to say, the pandemic screws with many things, but for a musician - we almost lose the sense of who we are. Practicing is more of a chore when there's no performance in sight. How do we spend our evenings when we aren't in rehearsals?
Ultimately - I know everything will be fine (and wow, do I know a lot more about baking now). Compare life to the last pandemic, I believe it was around 1918 - at least now we have the internet, Kindle, Zoom and countless musical score resources online available for practicing ... things could be worse. But musicians (performers, conductors, educators, etc) are mourning the loss of musical connections and the sense of self we found in them. May 'normal life' return soon.
In the meantime, I'm trying Ina Garten's Cheddar Biscuits next ...
*It's just not the same otherwise. And really feels kind of pointless, tbh. Sorry. Not trying to be a buzzkill. Just sayin'.