Singing has become a bad word when it comes to the spread of COVID-19 and here’s why! When we sing we omit a large amount of aerosols into the atmosphere around us. These aerosols are too small to see and significantly smaller than any droplets that may exit our mouths when we cough etc.
Unlike droplets- these aerosols don’t leave our mouths and land somewhere- they hang around in the air just waiting for someone else to breathe them in!! How long they stay in the air hasn’t been studied in enough depth to know for sure the ins and outs. However- we do know that they can still be detected in an un-aired room for several hours.
So how do we deal with this? Well- the risk of spreading COVID-19 through singing can be reduced in several ways…
- Wearing a mask will significantly reduce the amount of aerosols that are released into the air when you sing. It will not stop them altogether but it does make it big difference.
- Singing outdoors will greatly reduce the risk of other singers or audience members from inhaling the aerosols that are in the air- particularly on a windy day- as they will be moved away and diluted in the fresh air.
- If you’re singing indoors- opening all the windows and finding ways to ventilate the space will give you some of the advantages of singing outdoors.
- Reducing the amount of time the singing takes place for will also reduce the amount of build up of these aerosols in the air. the longer you sing for- the more the aerosols build up and the greater the risk of someone else inhaling it.
- The only way to entirely prevent the risk of spread through singing is to do it on your own, in your home or garden! Keep your lessons online and your performances in the virtual world!!
Things that do not protect you from aerosols in the air…
- Visors- these only protect you from droplets that are heading towards your face. So if someone is coughing nearby, a visor will stop any of their phlegm getting in your eyes!
- Glass or perspex screens. Aerosols move around the air freely so a single screen won’t prevent those aerosols from moving around the edges and over the top!!
We are ever hopeful about the introduction of the vaccine for COVID-19 so we can start to resume our singing in a more ‘normal’ manner. But for now- we’re excited by the opportunities that technology offers us! All of our lessons are currently taught online. We’ve done Virtual Choir performances, collaboration videos, virtual busking for charity. Keep thinking outside the box at all the wonderful ways we can keep ourselves singing!!