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BWW Interview: Peter Cantone of PANDEMIC SOLUTIONS

Is it possible that one company might be the key to reopening the clubs and theaters?

As coronavirus numbers rise around the country, indeed around the world, and new restrictions and lockdowns begin or loom on the horizon, the industry of live entertainment remains in an indefinite holding pattern. Film and television production has resumed but, even with all the safety precautions, actors like Richard Schiff and Sheila Kelly are finding themselves under quarantine after testing positive for COVID-19. 300,000 plus people have moved out of Manhattan, and it isn't a far reach of the imagination to consider that some of the people in that mass exodus are members of the live entertainment community. With no answers and hope that feels like an exercise between pillar and post, the workers of the industry worry and wonder how they will survive and when they will be allowed to return to work.

Peter Cantone has the solution. The Pandemic Solution, to be exact - since that is not only his business, it is the name of his company. Cantone has developed a system designed to disinfect, protect, and put butts back in seats and artists back onstage. Having heard about his company and his drive, I reached out to ask if he would tell me about Pandemic Solutions and he might change the lives of many people with his work, so important during these difficult times.

This interview was conducted digitally and is reproduced without edits.

Peter Cantone, welcome to Broadway World Cabaret and thank you for speaking with us today.

Stephen - Thank you for this opportunity!

You are the founder and the CEO of PANDEMIC SOLUTIONS and your company is working to find ways to make it possible for audiences and performers to go back to the theaters. Is Pandemic Solutions a new company that has been created in this time of need? Or was there actually a place for a company called Pandemic Solutions, before the year 2020?

Pandemic Solutions LLC was started May 1, 2020, in response to the pandemic. I live within the first east coast epicenter in New Rochelle NY where Governor Cuomo first sent the National Guard. It was during that time I realized that in order to bring our country back safely, we needed cost-effective solutions that offered the safest path forward.

Prior to forming Pandemic Solutions, what was your background, and how does it factor into the scope of knowledge needed to form this company?

I'm an entrepreneur. From a young child, I was surrounded by a father, brother, sisters who were all entrepreneurs. The last fourteen years I've been in the spray foam insulation industry. I started and sold a spray foam supply company and stayed in the business until COVID19 hit us. My philosophy has always been if you can find real solutions for challenges we face, you have something that has real value and you can always do well. In the case of Pandemic Solutions, there is an altruistic side to it. The key is recognizing what our greatest challenges are and then surrounding yourself with experts in the field which is why we created an Advisory Board with Dr. Chris Comfort the COO of Calvary Hospital, the largest palliative hospital in the USA, and their Infectious Disease Specialist, Nancy Schoener.

In terms that everyone can understand, would you please describe for me the technology at Pandemic Solutions that would make it possible to reopen performance venues?

We take a comprehensive approach that includes

Surface Disinfection Technology. High volume electrostatic sprayers that cover 10,000 square feet in one minute. These sprayers are designed to spray both disinfectants and long-lasting anti-microbial coatings that can last up to 90 days - all of which we supply.

Air Purifying Technology. When you are on a mountain top and breathe in the fresh air, you are breathing in the fresh air because nature produces millions of positive and negative ions that scrub the air clean by clinging onto and inactivating harmful VOCs, bacteria, and - viruses! When you are in a city, pollution decreases the number of ions. When you are indoors in a city, you have a very low level of ions - which allows viruses to travel freely. Our patented equipment produces bipolar (negative and positive) ions in the supply side of ductwork and sends millions of healthy ions into the indoor air we breathe scrubbing it clean. It's the only active technology that seeks and inactivates the coronavirus as infected people are breathing it out!

People Screening Technology. The World Health Organization (WHO) continually emphasizes the need for local authorities to detect any cases of a disease outbreak early. To, therefore screen symptoms of a virus to minimize the spread of infections, and then sequester those impacted in accordance with local laws, guidelines, and customs. Did you know temperature-only checks could leave up to an 88% chance of letting someone in that has COVID19? Our patented technology takes a multi-layered approach that scans temperature, oxygen level, respiratory rate and heart rate.

If we take this approach, we are effectively protecting the surfaces, the air and preventing potentially infected people from entering the theater.

With no current vaccine or cure for Covid, what is the likelihood that the powers that be would approve the reopening of clubs and theaters that have the disinfecting capabilities provided by your company?

That is a very tough question. I will say that we are working with business owners from different markets to try to create practical protocols that include our approach, but there is always more strength in numbers. My feeling is that people have breaking points and the government can not continue to shut businesses down. I have to believe they are looking at our approach or similar approaches as the future solution to move forward. The key is putting in place practical solutions that have the highest efficacy and are cost-effective - like our comprehensive approach.

Some small venues have been presenting shows for outdoor seating areas; soon it will be too cold for them to do that anymore; is Pandemic Solutions ready to move, right now, if everything lined up correctly?


Would your company's services be appropriate for use in schools, churches, sports arenas, gyms as well as performance venues?

Absolutely. The larger the venue the more value we bring. We just sold equipment to the NBA Sacramento Kings. When they saw the equipment being demonstrated they were convinced we would be setting a new standard for disinfecting.

Part of what Pandemic Solutions offers is screening - is that a time-consuming process that would slow the seating of the audience members?

It could take 7-20 seconds to screen a person. Well worth the time when you think about the bigger picture.

The gym where I work spent considerable funds on an Emist spray gun designed to mist the equipment with disinfectant - it hasn't worked properly, since the day it was delivered. Not to put you on the spot, but does your Electrostatic Sprayer actually work?

Yes - absolutely. In the rare chance that it doesn't work (and it's not operator error) we would replace the unit.

Put a picture in my head of what a Pandemic Solutions client would have at their disposal that would make it possible for them to welcome people back into their space.

A Pandemic Solutions client would have equipment that sprays 50' deep and 30' wide, plus some smaller commercial equipment that has 50' hoses that can spray 12-15ft deep for areas that can't be reached by the larger unit. A client would also have our bipolar ionization technology in place, and that system would come with an air monitor constantly detecting the ion levels and make sure enough ions are being sent in to inactivate 99.9% VOCs, bacteria, and viruses. The client would also have a number of biometric gateway scanners to prevent potentially infected people from entering the theater.

You are the father of four daughters, all of whom are actresses, so this is a very personal quest for you, isn't it?

100% My daughters are my life. They have all been in countless numbers of plays and my wife and I are blessed because they are great performers. My first three were all in high school when the pandemic hit us in March. They are all in the PAVE program at New Rochelle HS. Just a year earlier, my oldest daughter Jamie won a Metro Award. She is now a Theater Major at Florida State University.

Is there anything that I haven't asked you that you would like to tell me that wouldn't be found by reading the Pandemic Solutions website or literature?

We all have a responsibility to make sure that what happened does not happen again. What we all need to do is take a proactive approach to all of the facilities we operate. I'm sorry to sound repetitive, but if we are spraying disinfectants and anti-microbials, if we are scrubbing our indoor air clean with ions, and we are preventing people who may have the virus from entering - we should have the ability to open up all of our venues because we are truly doing everything we can to keep our environment safe.

Peter, thank you so much for sharing your story and intel with us today. I genuinely hope, for the future of the performing arts, that you can help us all get back into the clubs and theaters while we await a vaccination. I wish you the very best of luck.

Thank you so much for this opportunity. I am very passionate about helping theaters come back safely and I truly appreciate this opportunity to discuss Pandemic Solutions.

Learn more about Pandemic Solutions at their website HERE.

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From This Author Stephen Mosher