COVID and how you're doing!

You may recall we launched the scholarship program last month, and we got a few hundred requests, about half of which were specifically related to the COVID pandemic. Beyond that, we don’t really have a good sense of how all this is affecting everyone out there, professionally or otherwise. So, what do you all do for a living, and how are you making out?

For us, we worked for a long time to finally be able to afford our own studio, and it has made things worlds easier in terms of filming new material, and provided a quiet and perfectly climate controlled space for interviews in an otherwise noisy city. But it’s not cheap. Obviously, with the scholarships a number of those were converting from paid memberships. And we will likely see more of this. So in general I’d say the fear of the unknown here, in terms of will things turn around soon enough to spare us the worst of what has happened to the bars, restaurants, and movie theaters who simply can’t even show up at all. I feel for those businesses and the people who depended on them for their livelihoods.

Personally, my partner Reyenne is an ICU nurse at a NYC public hospital. To handle the COVID surge, she built and staffed a temporary intensive care unit from scratch out of an old, unused tuberculosis wing of the hospital. Lots of death. Five or more per shift at first, including young and healthy people. One who died in the emergency room was only 15. This all happened amid shortages of protective gear you’ve all heard about. They’re still reusing masks for up to a week, which despite the CDC guidelines, is not in any way how this is supposed to work. Every day we have to wonder, is today the day we get sick? We have plastic drop cloths set up just in case we have to split the living space in half.

Thankfully that day hasn’t come. In fact, this week the case load has finally dropped low enough that she transferred her last patient out of the temp ICU to the permanent one, and shut it down. But every time we drive by a crowd of maskless joggers on the way to work she gets a flash of anxiety that loosened restrictions will cause a new surge, and she’ll have to go through that all over again. Today 53 new cases showed up in the emergency room despite dropping to single digits in recent weeks. So for those who don’t care if they get sick, just know there is a cost for your choices you are not the only one who pays it.


Since I had to cancel my in person lessons due to the aforementioned plague, I was looking for options and liked the idea of a community striving towards better understanding of the mechanical aspect of playing. The CtC welcome has been fantastic and nothing but pleasant.

I’m Canadian, I have a cousin who works as a head Nurse in Seattle. It truly sucks that things are the way they are in the US and I have nothing but the greatest sympathy for people’s lives being upended as a result of everything

I’ve no good advice to give as far as the lease aspect goes, but I truly hope that things start getting better for ya’ll out in New York and every other outbreak locale.

My wife is a teacher and I’ve 2 young kids, and I worry enough about them as it is. I cannot imagine if she’d worked in the health sector in an outbreak zone during some of the worst large scale mismanagement of the modern era. The mind rebels.

Good luck Troy, I hope you’re all able to ride it out.


Glad to hear you guys are staying safe. Thanks for finding your way to us!

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I am glad to hear you are doing well @Troy and I hope others will continue to chime in. I was just thinking the other day that you had said your partner was involved in the medical field and I was curious how you are making out. It is nice to know the both of you are safe. It’s funny, this forum is probably the most tight-knit forum of which I’ve ever been a part, but I don’t know much about others, so this thread is a great idea to learn more.

Personal stuff: My mom is a dentist and is on staff at a local hospital for volunteer help, so I am familiar with those same daily concerns you mention. My cousin ended up getting the virus, and he has fully recovered. Right now I’m at home with my mom and dad in New Jersey, as well as my sister and her boyfriend. Before shit went down I was living in New York City in the East Village on my own since 2017, and I got out at the beginning of March when I thought it was going to get bad. My lease doesn’t expire until November, so I am getting totally fucked by paying rent on a place I don’t even use. It’s my choice and I can’t technically complain; I could just as easily return to NYC and make use of the space. Given the state of things, however, it’s not much of a decision.

I don’t know what your exact lease arrangement is @Troy, but could you negotiate a month-to-month? I was thinking of renewing for a year while asking for one month free to stabilize the market asking price so the landlord doesn’t get screwed on that, or going month-to-month. I’m confident management is going to shoot down both of these suggestions. The problem with NYC is that there is always someone with money - and lots of it - to pay the asking price. Pandemic or not lol.

Work stuff: I’m in my 20s. I’m a licensed attorney with a self-taught background as a product management consultant before I got salaried at the company I joined in January, where I work as an assistant vice president of technology and chief information security officer. At one point I was supposed to be a corporate attorney and had that offer, but I turned it down. It’s an incredibly odd story and probably outside the scope of this post. The nature of my job hasn’t changed at all, really, just working from home indefinitely. It’s pretty boring and the guitar is a near constant distraction.

Music stuff: I’ve finally wrapped up the Antigravity seminar after a year and a half of learning to alternate pick across strings. Started in August 2018. The year prior in 2017 was learning to pick on one string while being somewhat sane and making time for learning random metal riffs. Now I have to learn to play songs. I realized I can burn so many complex alternate picking patterns at high speeds, and that I’ve figured out Paul Gilbert’s left hand which stumped me for ages, but the reality is that even after all this work, I am only a technician, and not a musician. Speed is only a small piece of the puzzle. I feel like I have come so far but have even farther to go.


Bad timing. I just moved into a new apartment and… boom. Quarantine.
I need to buy some furniture but I can’t. What is more important is that I need to buy some details for my guitar! Not to mention new strings and a cable. But shops I need are closed. So I walk to/from my job looking at empty closed shops, and that’s sad (

As for masks and gloves, we have enough of these on my job, since we have cleanrooms where we deal with silicon wafers and chips. So, that part wasn’t a problem.

I was hoping that I could spend some days at ahome with my guitar, but since we have continuous manufactoring process which doesn’t allow interrupting, that wasn’t not the case.

Stay healthy, people, take care of yourself!


The virus itself haven’t reached myself or somebody close to me yet, but I can’t be in school or meet friends. This means I have lot of time for practice and writing for an upcoming project, and I think I’ve made a lot of progress so far. But I’m really afraid of loosing motivation.

Keep on fighting, we will get through this!


Hi, I’m from UK and I work in a corporate position in a Mental Health NHS trust and my wife is a Respiratory Specialist Nurse in a General Hospital. @Troy mentioned that feeling of “will this be the day?” It comes and goes with me - it sucks. Its tough as I try to work from home and look after my 2 kids (6 and 2 year old) trying to still give them some sort of education. But it is impossible to serve 2 masters - hard to get my work hours in and my kids don’t like me very much due to lack of attention… That being said, I’m lucky - My wife and I still have an income and we are healthy (touch wood!).
All the best to the whole world and this special forum here!


Oh, it’s been an adventure…

My girlfriend is a doctor, and while Mass isn’t nearly as hard hit as New York, we’ve got a heavy caseload here, not nearly enough PPE, but it’s been hitting the medical community either. We both caught it early, mid-March - she became symptomatic a few days before I did, as a medical professional was high risk and able to get tested, and while it took 9 days (!!) her results came back positive. Tests were still pretty hard to come by back then, so since my symptoms checked out but were mild, they told me to stay home and just counted me as a presumed positive since I’d been in close quarantine with a known case. We were both extremely lucky - both of our symptoms were mild, passed quickly, my office had decided to switch to remote the week before I became symptomatic so thankfully I didn’t transmit it to any of my older and more vulnerable colleages, and she and I both had decided to quarantine just based on her being high risk, even before she woke up with a fever. I’ve been out of quarantine for almost two months now, although that’s really only a matter of degree, and as inconvenient as social distancing may be, I’ll say this - after two weeks of not even setting foot outside of my place, our current volentary shelter in place here in Mass feels pretty liberated. My biggest concern was reports of survivors losing, if likely on a temporary basis, something like 25% of lung capacity in the immediate aftermath (I’m a serious cyclist), and I’ve been doing some pretty hard hill climb sprints out here and made a solo trip out to western Mass to do an hour long climb out that way, and if there is any lingering impact, it’s thankfully so negligible that I can’t really detect one. I knocked a few minutes of my PR on that climb, and while this whole mess impacted my training recently, I’d been working hard this off season and I don’t think I lost all that ground.

Other than that… I work in the finance industry, for a small bond investment company. Work has been insane. It’s easing up a hair, but for a while there I was waking up, showering, logging into work at 7:15 or so, remembering around 2 I needed to eat, and then realizing it was 8:30-9 and maybe I should log off and take a break, so I’d have dinner, a couple drinks, crash, and do it all over again. I’m not convinced this is a bad thing - I’ve been half joking near as I can tell this pandemic is about the size of my dining table, since that’s the extent of my experience of it. My girlfriend keeps telling me I need to take some time off because I’m not really processing anything, so I’m hoping next week I can get away for a day or two. I’ve been very proactive, I guess, about reminding myself that this is job security and I should be thankful to still be working, which helps, a little, but I went straight from my busy period at work at the start of the year into this and had to cancel a planned vacation to, well, because travel would have been out of the question even if the bond markets weren’t blowing up, so I’m running on fumes these days.

We were lucky, as were roughly the half of my GF’s medical friends who also tested positive, but others I know weren’t - a close childhood friend lost an aunt, and one of my coworkers lost her father. And my girlfriend isn’t talking much about what she’s seeing in the hospital, but what little I’ve heard… things are pretty bad.

Bigger picture, I know I’ve been damned lucky. I have a job, my health, and a great girl who I’ve been spending a tremendous amount of time with, and while these last couple months have been absolutely surreal, I also know I have a lot to be thankful for.

Also, I’ll say this - living in a pandemic really makes you think about some of the decisions you’ve alwayas taken for granted. I’m doing a lot of online shopping, a mix of local and not, but it’s made me very cognizant about where I spend money, and focusing on places I really want to see pull through this. I had a few friends I’d been overdue to see for a few months now coming into this, and I passed on a trip to Mexico with my girlfriend and a couple of her friends because of a work deadline I couldn’t jeopardize, and things like that are really making me question some of the things I’ve been prioritizing vs not in recent years. Thankfully, I’ve always loved cooking, so that’s been a good outlet for me, and I’ve finally got my pizza dough recipe dialed in, and like I said I’m spending a LOT of time with my girlfriend, so there have been some silver linings… I think it’s a matter of finding and holding onto those, the silver linings and the lessons you can learn from this and the things you want to do differently when this is behind you. I think it helps you stay positive…


I’m a guitar nerd isolated on a small island in Sweden, working from home, having more video conferences then ever and suddenly (thanks you CtC) practicing my guitar playing like I’m sixteen again. Thank you @Troy for showing me these hidden guitar secrets that have given me my guitar spirit back.

So far, me and my little family have been very lucky I think. We’re not sick. We still have our jobs. We live on the countryside and we can go outside. And here on the island, only 60 people have been infected with the virus so far. But still, we and most people here are very cautious and we’re keeping our distance, washing our hands all the time, doing everything we can to stop the virus from spreading. And I’m reading everyones stories here, what your lives look like these days. Thank you for sharing – it’s very interesting, and very hard to not get touched when readin, some of you are in some dire situations… this thing affects us all and in so different ways.

Work is of course very different now because of Covid-19… But I still have work and I’m so grateful for that. I work with an organization here in Sweden that amongst other things helps musicians with rehearsal spaces, guitar lessons, finding gigs etc. And all of a sudden everything is happening online now, so I’ve had to become and expert in live streaming shows, how to arrange online lessons and things like that. And as in the rest of the world - the live streaming music scene has exploded here in Sweden. This pandemic is forcing artists and bands to become even more present online, and even if it’s within a horrible context so to speak, it’s interesting to witness this extreme technical competence development that’s happening all around right now.

As we say in Sweden,
Stay safe


I work in an acute care hospital in Canada, I bounce between ICU and a medical floor. There is heartbreak for those that don’t make it. Many who get through the ICU need to learn to walk again, some need to learn to swallow again and need a feeding tube. Other times an elderly person with dementia will get it, do well from an infection perspective, however the change in environment to a hospital is devastating for them - I see many develop delirium, no visitors, stop eating. We have an extra ICU set-up and ready to go, however we have not had to use it. It seems the social distancing is doing what it is supposed to do. I’m proud to be there and to work with the rockstars that show up everyday.

I have 3 small kids (3-7), a great wife and house to call our own. I’ve got a room in the basement for my guitars and I’m thankful to find alternate picking nerds to connect with. Despite the weird times, we’re blessed.


I live in a small town in Florida where we haven’t had too many cases. Most of the cases we’ve had have been in nursing homes, and it’s so sad for these older people to suffer like this when they are already very compromised in health. Also, one of my friends lost his dad to the virus a month ago and I am grieving along with him.

I am 18, hoping to head to Nashville for college next semester, but when that transition will take place is quite uncertain. I am just very grateful to God that both my parents work at home and that we have been staying safe. To all of you who work in the medical field or are close to someone who does, just want to let you know I am extremely grateful for what you are doing to care for the people around you in this scary time.

Stay safe and God bless


Thank you for your interest Troy, hope all you guys are doing as well as possible.

I live in a country that has dealt with Covid significantly better than others (Greece), but still, the pandemic happened in a very bad timing for me. I just got my degree and I was about to move abroad to start my Master’s when all this happened, so now everything has moved back quite a lot, I lost momentum and got filled with anxiety about my future and my family’s as well.

Of course things could be worse, luckily we’re all healthy and this is what matters most. I wish everyone the best during these crazy times and I hope this ends very soon, so we can go back to our lives.


So, let’s do this…

I live in south germany with my wife and my 2 kids. As some of you might know germany has been quite successful to stop or at least confine the covid-19 epidemic compared to other countries by early measures taken.

I’m a chief engineer in a research institution in the field of automotive mechatronics and being an office hero I’m happy to be able to do pretty much all my work from home. Funny enough this gives me lots of online meetings where I can mute my microphone and fiddle on my guitar as long as I have nothing to say as this is common practice to improve the audibility of the person speaking at the moment :wink:

My wife is a teacher and as the schools have been locked down until now she was busy trying to setup online meetings with her students which is a hell of a job because the kids nowadays dont know s**t about computers anymore, just dealing with their smartphones. This is really ridiculous as about ten years ago kids where doing the IT-stuff for their parents, now it’s the opposite.

Up to now this all sounds very idyllic :wink:
As the schools and kindergartens are closed we have to do these jobs in parallel. And as even playgrounds were closed and kids shouldn’t meet their friends our 4 year old boy is giving us a hell of a time. He is one of those overenergetic brats and grouching almost all of the time.

So this just doesn’t work any longer, as we are now transitioning into a phase of reopening almost everything except for kindergartens. This is the really sad thing about germany as economy stands above everything else. Everyone is expected to go to work again and shop the hell out of the stores but families can just solve the problems with their kids on their own as kindergartens are SO dangerous. I mean, what do they expect? You have no choice but to find other parents to look after your childs and vice versa. Does that prevent spreading of the virus? Probably not.

So I’m a bit worried about wasting all the effort and success we had until now because of people that now claim that all the measures were unneccessary as we had have “just” 7000 dead people due to covid-19 and build up pressure to cancel all measures taken. I’m restarting to check johns hopkins map everyday.

The other worry is of course economy related as my job relies on the automotive industry. Thankfully my wife is nonredeemable as a state official.

All in all we are probably in a relatively convenient situation compared to others at the moment, but we’ll see.

One sad aspect is that my 78 yr. old dad died end of March, not due to covid but he has been seriously sick for several weeks. He lived in a nursing home and after returning from hospital I did just visit him once, being careful because of the covid-crisis. So I didn’t see him during his last 1,5 weeks as he seemed to be getting better. This haunts me a little although I know my decision was the right one at that time and based on the information I had back then.

So, rock out those axes as it helps to stay mentally sound.



OK, here it goes…

I am from germany as well.
I live in Western Germany with my family, in the most densely populated part of the country. I have a four year old daughter, and a second one is currently on the way. I am a film composer, but I also do a lot of orchestration/arranging and music production for one of the bigger fish in the industry, with a lot of projects coming from Hollywood. I was kind of lucky, because I am currently working on projects that had all finished shooting before the pandemic struck. But it is foreseeable that there is gonnna be some dry spell coming, since nobody can shoot anything at the moment. A movie I am supposed to score later this year had to stop with 10 days of shooting left, and a theatre piece I was supposed to compose for is not going to get made at all, because the theatres are closed. So, work is slowly winding down. Right now I am faced with the challenge to write stupid funny music for a childrens TV-show, with all this corona-anxiety on my mind. :sweat_smile:
Financially I am not to worried, because trying to make a living out of making music for about 15 years now, has taught me to be cautious with my money. I can probably manage the next year or so pretty well. My wife works for an online shop, so her work is steady although she had to reduce hours like a lot of people in germany.

We are worried about our parents, especially my wifes father, since he is in a high-risk group because of a heart condition. So far I only know five people that officially had covid-19, and these are really really distant aquaintances of other people I know. One had no symptoms, one had it like the flu, and the other three caught it really bad with long ICU stays and recovery, but they all pulled through.

At home we face the same challenges that @Tom0711 described with working at home and taking care of our daughter without the kindergarten. And although she has been really great, she is still 4 years old and has about 1000 times more energy than me and her mother combined. And yes, the politics so far just acted as if you could lock little kids away and let their parents handle it.

My biggest issues in this whole pandemic are currently with other people. Since germany hasn’t been hit that hard (YET!), this seems to make some people more stupid and dangerous. I see quite a few people every day, who just don’t give a s*** about any safety measures. I’ve argued with people I know about this, but usually to no avail. They usually cite the great health care, it is not as bad here blablabla, as if somehow germany had a different virus, that just gives you a mild cold, or doesn’t even exist at all. Italy, France, the UK and now the US don’t seem to bother these people.
I cannot understand this behavior, I can barely tolerate it.
I understand that a lot of people are under enormous economic pressure, and I accept that this lockdown cannot last forever, but I am deeply worried about the way this pandemic will continue to spread in germany, because I don’t believe, enough of the population will adhere to the safety measures. Maybe my perception of this is a bit off though, because the negatives always seem to stick out more, and I do live in a crowded city where you will see more stupid because more people.

So, all in all, while anxiety is high, I guess my little family is doing alright. And I was brought back to cracking the code, which is a fun thing I hadn’t had the mind for since forever. And I spent a lot more time with my family. I do something with my daughter every day, and all this is really great amidst all this uncertainty.

@Tom0711 I’m really sorry about your dad! All the best to you and yours.

Stay safe everybody.


I live in spain
Still alive and well
But my coworkers and I have got the flu twice in a couple of months,untill the tests arrive we assume we may have been suffered from the covid (we got the same symptoms)
In that case,that virus arrived here at the end of january,maybe even earlier when the mainstream media just called it “the virus from wuhan”
That’s one of the risk of it,that ability to pass undetected
Take good care of yourselves and specially your health staff!!


I’m in Ireland. I work as a university lecturer in mathematics.

On 12th of March, it was announced suddenly that all universities and schools were to close at 6 pm and remain closed until at least the 29th of March, and everybody who could work from home was encouraged to do so. All St. Patrick’s Day celebrations were cancelled. On the 24th of March, all non-essential businesses were closed. On the 27th, the government banned all non-essential travel. This is the present situation here, we’ve been told that restrictions may be lifted on the 18th of May.

The situation has made my job much more difficult. I had all my lectures, assessments and exams prepared before closure. After closure lecturers at my university were asked to give lectures via Microsoft Teams or similar, with the expectation that we would narrate a PowerPoint presentaton.

This wasn’t suitable for my modules, so I’ve been recording video lectures and posting them to YouTube. Student engagement is very low but response to the videos has been positive from the students who watch them. I use markers and a notepad during the videos. After a while the markers make me dizzy, so I can’t record for as long as I would be able to lecture for.

All of our assessments and exams had to be revised or completely re-written, and there has been significant debate about how assessment should be delivered generally.

On a broader scale, all state exams for schools were cancelled yesterday, so we’re not sure how admissions are going to work either when we return. Thankfully that’s not my area.

The situation has been difficult for me personally also. My grandmother passed on the 6th of April. My mother and her sisters had less than an hour each to say goodbye to her at the end, but other family members weren’t allowed to see her. We were allowed to hold a small family funeral in her home. On the (long) drive home after the burial, I had to explain my movements to police at five different checkpoints.

Also, my girlfriend and I both train Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu at a gym near our home. Our instructor is a friend and the club almost our entire social network since we moved near Dublin for work. The gym had to close temporarily along with every other non-essential business, but last week our instructor had to announce that he would have to shut down at the present location and try to find another more affordable premises, or that the gym would have to close permanently.

I hope all of you, and your families, are well. Take care everybody.


I’m in London, Ontario, Canada and co-own a music school. We’ve shifted to teaching online lessons, but we have certainly felt the crunch. Many students can’t afford to continue or just struggle with the online format, so our numbers have cut back by at least 40%.

Despite this, I’m not too worried about things financially. The response from our federal and provincial government has, IMHO, been very good. They’ve provided a temporary benefit program for people who don’t qualify for normal employment benefits (self- employed) or who are still working and who’s income has dropped below a certain threshold. There are also business support programs which will help us to ride things out.

All the extra time at home has encouraged me to refresh my piano playing skills - probably not what you’d have thought to hear on a guitar-heavy forum :wink: I haven’t played seriously for years, and was never really that good at it in the first place. This time around, instead of working on scales and conservatory material, I’ve approached it more like how I started on the guitar; learning tunes by ear, following my interests, and just trying to have fun through the process. I will get back around to practicing scales and the like, but I want to be able to actually play something first.

On the guitar side, although CTC has a plethora of material to play around with, I’ve been steering more towards traditional jazz and fusion. I’ve been wanting to up my gave when it comes to improvisation and playing over more complex chord changes, so this seemed like a good time to get back at it.

I’ve also been able to finish writing and producing a guitar book I’ve been working on for the last few years. I’ve currently got it out to some colleagues and former students for review; I hope to self-publish (eBook) it by the end of the summer, if not sooner.

Always something to keep me busy :smiley:

Cheers everyone and Stay Safe!

  • Graehme

I live in São Paulo - Brazil, and as a huge city in a developing country we are facing chaos. Specially because the State Governor is keeping a strict quarantine and a lot of people (including the President) are simply denying the problem.

We are facing a lot of financial problems in the country because of the quarantine and this situation is being treated as a political problem rather than a public health one. I’m worried about what the future will bring upon brazil.

I work with Data Science and BI in a huge brazilian company in the cement market, so working from home is not affecting my work directly, and the company announced that will be no cuts in the staff until we reach July, after that probably the company will need to start the Layoffs.
For now me and my girlfriend are safe, employed and being able to go through.

As guitar stuff I’m happy that with more time spent home, I can play more hours. I still focusing in being better in the USX, but because of the Gambale material I’m introducing the the opposite system and more sweeps (I’m still confused about the names, so I say DWPS and UWPS). Great times to be alive and playing.


I’m one of the CtC scholars. Long time YouTube subscriber, finally got a job on January that would allow me the financial means to subscribe, and boom. Reduced work days = reduced pay, can’t tell you guys how much the scholarship means to me. Local economy (Philippines) is on the brink, china has all but taken over (mining and military stations scattered across our archipelago), no mass testing yet so we don’t even know how bad the COVID situation is. Music (and cats) have been the only thing keeping me sane these days.


Hi, Troy!

Wow, so Reyenne is an ICU nurse at an NYC hospital. And you guys have not contracted the COVID, huh?

Prior to being the current guitar bum I am, I was working at an awesome company in Sunnyvale, California. I got pretty sick, was tested negative for the flu, and recovered. It was speculated to be a bad viral infection. It made me very fatigued where I would wake up, feel OK, and then be falling asleep unable to think or concentrate hours later.

I saw a lot of sick people in the South Bay/Peninsula where I live (the clean part of SF Bay Area).

Since the pandemic, I’ve been playing lots of guitar, trying to figure out DAWs and music technology, and doing some interview prep to get back in that company as F/T.

I have some awesome original music that I am burning to record and play for everyone if I can figure out home music production. I wish this stuff were intuitive to me but it’s just not.

It’s been frustrating watching the science denial coming from the don’t-test-don’t-tell CDC; painfully watching that unfold like a slow-mo action/thriller scene. There are promises of never ending policy, regardless of evidence, and unsupported assertions from politicians and theists. These bother me but when I question them, the questions always get ignored.