Choirs, musicians and artists in general are also having a difficult time during this Covid-19 pandemic.
There are church choirs, children’s choirs, community choirs and bands of all types. For most, music is not a social event, it is an integral part of life.
Unfortunately, according to Public Health, early evidence has indicated that singing may, in fact, be a higher risk activity due to the projection of respiratory droplets or saliva. The emission of aerosols that contain the virus are apparently affected by the loudness of vocalization. Currently, there is no evidence to determine exactly what a safe distance would be between singers and others, but greater distances can reduce risk.
For those who play an instrument, there is also the potential risk of spreading the virus through saliva or respiratory droplets. This may be particularly risky for musicians playing woodwind or brass instruments which involve forceful projections of air and for percussion instrumentalists through exertion. It is also vital to ensure that only person handles an instrument.
Given the risks, Public Health recommends:
- Not gathering for performing or practicing music. Remember, social gatherings with five or more people are not permitted through an emergency order from the Government of Ontario. This order can be enforced and is punishable by fines. Gathering with anyone outside of your household, even if there are five people or fewer, is not recommended.
- Using online platforms for practices and performances.
- Considering a soloist or instrumental music for live performances.
- Keeping singers and band members completely separate from the audience and each other by live-streaming individuals performing separately
- Limiting the number of people performing in the same place to fewer than 5
- Having people performing face away from others or create separation using a barrier such as Plexiglas
Practice the key principles of physical distancing, hand-washing, and stay home when feeling unwell. While at home, listen to the music that you love and for those who love to sing … sing like no-one is listening!