Why a face shield may not protect you from coronavirus

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For those hoping to join choirs or sing in church services, Echternach and his colleagues have further advice: keep a distance of at least 2.5m (8ft) in front and 1.5m (5m) feet) on either side as you sing. Sticking to well-ventilated rooms is also important, Echternach adds.Although the results can be applied to other contexts as well, his concern for song is well placed.

An infamous case of Covid-19 super-diffusion occurred during a two-and-a-half-hour choral practice at the Skagit Valley Chorale in Mount Vernon, Washington. Fifty-three of the 61 choir members who attended the rehearsal later became ill and were confirmed or suspected to have Covid-19. Two of the band members later died. It is believed that a single member of the choir who had developed “cold symptoms” a few days before the rehearsal could have been responsible for the spread.

“It’s very bad because it brought very bad connotations to the song,” says Echternach. “It’s a shame because singing is very good for our health and mental well-being.”

For Kersten Rosenfeldt and his fellow singers of the Bavarian Radio Choir, any information on how to protect yourself from the virus is welcome. “There is a great thirst for knowledge on this issue,” says Susanne Vongries, director of the choir.

Like the rest of the world, they are now waiting to see how the pandemic plays out.

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