Airport Screening & Coronavirus Effects On A Now-Struggling Musician
By Evyn Charles, Special To PubClub.com
My name is Evyn Charles. I make the bulk of my living as live musical performer (singer-guitarist); a small portion of my income is from songwriter-composer work.
I traveled from my home in Los Angeles to my native France on February 23 and landed at Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG), Paris, February 24. I returned to the U.S. two weeks later, landing at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) March 9.
The Corona Virus—now renamed COVID 19—was THE major news story even before I left for Europe, and continued to be so throughout my visit. As a result, I monitored my movements extremely carefully.
I visited my family and did some sightseeing while there; I traveled via a rental car the entire time. My brother and I took a road trip to the rural, sparsely populated Southwest of France. I then returned to the Paris region to stay with my mother, and visit other relatives including my father who lives in an isolated small town. I never took public transportation or went anywhere near affected areas, which consisted mostly of Italy and a few isolated spots.
As this was the off-season for tourism, and the weather was rainy and cold, I encountered no large crowds anywhere. As a matter of fact, there were empty rows on both my LAX<—>CDG flights; I even had the entire row to myself on the flight back.
I consulted the CDC website several times daily to monitor developments in case I had to expedite my return travel. As it turns out, France remained in the safe travel area during my entire stay, up to and including several days after my return to the USA March 9. The travel advisory started March 13.
I was interviewed and checked out on my way back by airport security at CDG, then by the airline (Air Tahiti Nui), and finally by security and health personnel at LAX.
Everyone returning from Europe was being thoroughly interviewed and examined. For example, I was asked to remove my eyeglasses so an officer could better examine my eyes for any sign of illness. I witnessed several people being pulled aside for secondary interviews and examinations.
I was advised to monitor my health for any signs of cold, cough, etc. during the next 14 days. If I noticed any of those signs, I should immediately seek medical attention, but was not advised to self-quarantine otherwise. I was then allowed to enter the United States with no further issue.
Two days after my return, the President of the United States held a press conference where he announced travel restrictions on people returning from Europe. Immediately after that, I started receiving notices of cancellation from Senior Care facilities where I regularly perform—in some cases, several times per year.
It provides a very significant portion of my income. These cancellations are independent of my own circumstances: seniors are among the most at-risk groups from the virus, and care facilities have been advised to restrict outside contact to medical personnel only.
To date, all of my performances at senior care facilities have been cancelled until further notice, amounting to approximately a dozen through the end of March.
I returned to my main place of employment, Old Tony’s on the Pier in Redondo Beach, Wednesday evening, but received notice the next day to not come in to work again until I obtained a written medical authorization. I was also asked to provide substitute performers to cover my three weekly shifts.
I have scheduled a visit with my regular physician Monday March 16, hoping to get a clean bill of health from him, and then will be allowed to return to work. I attempted to get a note from some Urgent Care facilities but was denied a visit because I’m feeling fine, and have no symptoms of any illness.
In addition to Old Tony’s on the Pier, I perform at several other venues on an as-needed basis; I have not been contacted by any of them since my return. As live music and other events are being curtailed or canceled everywhere, I understand that all my colleagues have also been severely affected by these developments.
As of now, I have no source of income until this gets resolved, and will soon start feeling the financial impact when I run out of my emergency funds. I have not been offered financial compensation for any of the work that was canceled.
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