Can singing spread Covid-19?

Singing doesn't spread Covid 19

Live music always works when it comes to events, big, small, intimate, sprawling, indoor or outdoor, summer or winter – it’s tried and tested and is here to stay. We don’t know about you, but to have some normality, something fun, special and something you’ve missed feels incredible after this time of entertainment and social fasting of the last few months! This week, we had our first gig since March and it was so good to be back.

There’s been a lot of talk about singing spreading the virus. As professional singers, this has been hard for us to hear, as when we trained, we learned to control our breath. Have you been considering singers at your private party, wedding or corporate event but have been put off due to government advice? Well thankfully, due to recent findings, the government has seen sense. As of 14th August, there are no longer any restrictions regarding singing (or playing brass and wind instruments) for either professionals or non-professionals, for up to 15 people indoors or outdoors. Hurray! Here’s why:

A new report has found that singing is less harmful than breathing or speaking – it’s far worse to go to the gym for a workout than it is to be around a professional singer, singing. The below image is taking from a report concerning brass instruments which looked at how many particles are released when playing. There are two types of particle – droplets and aerosols. “Droplets are anything larger than 5 microns (a sixteenth of a human hair) in diameter, which fall to the ground quickly, while aerosols, are smaller than 5 microns and can’t be seen with the naked eye. These aerosol particles float on the air currents and can remain there for hours or even days.” Source

Now the singer in this experiment is not a professional singer but one of the brass players. Even then, the results are encouraging – this would be even less from a highly trained singer. Singing is not a super-spreader, as was first suggested. Mere talking and breathing has the same level of danger as singing. Therefore, the only precautions necessary to take would be the same as in any event, with or without music – decent ventilation and social distancing of guests.

In a few days, we expect Declan Costello to produce his much more extensive and peer reviewed findings in regards to singing and present them to the Department of Culture, Media and Sport. Expect an update to this article then and in the meantime, you may as well open up your mouth and let a melody come out!

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