2020 No. 3

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Toilet paper roll
Well, here we are, in the middle of an apocalypse. How's your day going?

And who knew that the first thing we would do in the face of an apocalypse was buy up all the toilet paper?!

It was difficult for me to choose what to include in this Newsletter because there seemed to be so much that needed to be said, and I wanted to be of help in some way, since I know that many people are having a hard time. I've decided that for the duration of this pandemic, the monthly Newsletter will become a bi-monthly affair, coming to you twice a month instead of once.

It's my intention that future Newsletters will offer some help for navigating the health, emotional and practical challenges of these traumatic times. There'll also be some humor and inspiration, both of which are sorely needed in rising to the occasion of a catastrophic event, or really for living well even in the best of times. Today's issue is related to COVID-19, since this is the first time I've written since it developed here in New York, but in future issues I'll focus more on other issues.

My saga. For this particular Newsletter, I've decided to share a bit of my own experience. I'm not usually so inclined, but I posted about my experience on Facebook and was astonished at the response the post got and by the Comments of some who said that my post gave them hope—which was what I was hoping when I posted—so here goes.

So yes, I did have COVID‑19. In case you're wondering how I knew I had COVID-19 since I wasn't tested (several people have asked me that), the symptoms told me, particularly in hindsight. I suddenly realized I couldn't taste my food (or smell anything). I developed a light, hacking cough that went on for several days before I got sick. I got a mild sore throat and a headache. Then came achiness, fatigue, odd chills and a fever, at which point I gave up and went to bed. A couple of days in, I woke up from a deep sleep unable to breathe. I mean, I really, really couldn't breathe. It felt as though my throat and chest were swollen almost shut, there was enormous pressure inside my chest and I couldn't get air. It is fortunate(?) that I have asthma, because as a result I knew of and used a couple of breathing techniques and a certain homeopathic remedy that gave me quick relief and allowed me to get through that difficulty.

As for why my case was relatively light (in that I recovered on my own), I can't say for certain, since I'm in three of the high-risk groups, but I had started taking several antiviral/adaptogenic herbs and bee propolis a couple of weeks previously, and once I got sick I added bromelain and n-acetyl-cysteine. I also used a couple of homeopathic remedies throughout the experience that alleviated the symptoms and, I believe, helped me recover; they certainly helped me breathe. Please note that this is not advice for anyone other than myself, as each person and their set of symptoms is unique.

Testing. In response to a question I've been asked several times regarding testing, no, you cannot get tested for COVID-19 in New York City unless you are hospitalized or are medical personnel. There are not enough tests, there were never even close to enough tests, plus testing wastes desperately-needed PPE, which we also don't have enough of. You cannot just go to a doctor or center and get tested, and even if you go to a hospital, their triage team decides who gets the test based on whether you need hospitalization. If we had had the tests before this got so bad, we could have contained it, but it's too late for that, and currently the test does not benefit anyone except hospital personnel who need to know how to treat the worst cases among us.

Please note that this makes the total number of cases that you see on the news much lower than the actual number of people who are sick with COVID-19 here, since the number reflects mostly those who are hospitalized (less than 20% of the total). In addition, you will likely know, as I did, if you have the virus due to its unique characteristics. Most people who have had it say, “I’ve never had anything quite like this.”

New York City. New York is a bustling, noisy, creative, high-energy, in-your-face kind of city; now it is a ghost town. People pass silently on the edges of the sidewalks—very few people—looking down, avoiding making eye contact, and attempting to distance themselves from anyone going in the opposite direction. I still go out for my daily walk in Central Park a block from my apartment and am thankful to be able to get some fresh air and exercise. My neighborhood is eerily quiet, and there are almost no cars to be seen on Central Park West, only an occasional ambulance.

Central Park. But the Park is still ravishingly beautiful, and the birds in particular seem to enjoy the absence of humans. The robins, unconcerned with COVID‑19, are unusually fat this year, and the squirrels are scampering everywhere joyfully. The flowers seem determined to thumb their noses at our gloominess by being outrageously brightly colored; yellows and purples predominate right now, along with huge blossoms of white on the dogwoods and a little pink starting to show on the cherry blossoms.

People in my area of the Park are good about distancing, although the local news shows that not everyone is following the order not to congregate in the Parks. Governor Cuomo and Mayor de Blasio say that if the distancing order continues to be ignored, the Parks will be closed. Just today they closed all NYC playgrounds because people continued to congregate there. Given that it’s spring, a breath-stoppingly beautiful time in Central Park, a time when we love to bask in the new warmth of the sun, this would be a great hardship for those of us who need its inspiration and fresh air, as well as our daily exercise there (bicyclists, joggers and walkers), so I hope everyone will be considerate and keep their distance from others in the Parks. I'll see if I can come up with some pix of the beautiful dogwoods and cherry blossoms in the Park for the next Newsletter.

Connect! If you live outside of New York and want to let me know what’s happening in your city, feel free to drop me a line at egreco@elenagreco.com. You can also write to me with questions or simply to say hi—I’d love to hear from you!

Create! And if you’d like to be part of something creative while you wait for your performing career to heat up again, do take a look below at the EGMP Interviews project opportunity coming up and let me know if you’re interested. All you need is a laptop!
If you missed last month's Newsletter, view it here:
Newsletter 2020 February


HEALING is a book I wrote in 2004 and promptly forgot about. It’s been waiting 16 years to see the light of day. I found it a few years ago on my computer and published it on Kindle in 2016 … then forgot about it again. It’s still timely, still—hopefully—useful, and could be seen as a prelude to the series I’m writing now, Life in Balance, which I’m intending to have finished in a couple of months. If you want to read something more cheerful and positive than the current headlines you desperately want to escape (you do, don’t you?), enjoy this very short book about a subject that pertains to all humans.


LIFE IN BALANCE(tm) is a multi-part series exploring health–what it is, how to get it and how to maintain it, easily and naturally. I of course think of performers when writing this series, as their professional lives depend on their health, but the series is for everyone. And please note the (prescient?) mention of recovering from the flu!

Read the first installment here:
Life in Balance: Part 1. What is health?
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EGMP performance-related work is on hiatus due to the pandemic.

However, if you’d like to be part of something creative while you wait for your performing career to heat up again, the EGMP Interviews will be shooting again starting next week! This is something musicians can easily do with me from their homes that will give both of us a product we can use in the future. Most importantly it gives a real voice to the creatives out there and helps others understand us a little better. All you need is a laptop! (There will be a gift involved.)

* If you're a professional musician or other creative who'd like to be considered for an interview, drop me a line at egreco@elenagreco.com. If you haven't submitted materials to me in the past or we haven't worked together before, please include samples and a short bio (or website containing these). If you've worked with EGMP in the past, I'd especially love to hear from you!

* I'd also like to find a videographer or video editor to:
1) Help me put together the EGMP Interviews that I'm about to record via Zoom or Skype. I might need a little advice about shooting before I begin, and then I'll need some minor editing done after the interview to create a finished product.
2) Edit some footage from a couple of previous concerts to make it usable.
If you're interested, please send me your details, fee, a bio or resume, and some examples of your work.

Enjoy the first few videos of Part 1 of the Interviews: The EGMP Interviews (and see videos below).


The Toilet Paper Aria (Soprano Christina Major)

Watch the video >

The Silver Lining
(Governor Andrew Cuomo)

Watch the video >

Simple, Everyday Actions That Support Mental Health

Read full article >

The Psychology of Meditation

Read full article >

Part 1. Interview #1

Watch the interview >

Part 1. Interview #2

Watch the interview >

Part 1. Interview #3

Watch the interview >
Healing (for book)


Get the book! >
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