Prayer #149: For Singing During the COVID-19 Outbreak
During the Coronavirus outbreak, live performances with vocalists have been put on hold, for fear that singing increases the aerosols emitted from the mouth, thus augmenting the risk of spreading the COVID-19 contagion. A very recent study is indicating that the volume of the singing is the key element in how much aerosol is being released. This is not necessarily surprising, but the study, performed by a team from the ESPRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Aerosol Science in Bristol, the U.K. and the Imperial College in London, does indicate that when singing, or speaking for that matter, is done at the quietist volume (50-60 decibels), it is not significantly different from regular breathing with regard to the amount of aerosols expelled.
The study, called PERFORM, examined the number of aerosols and droplets, up to 20 micrometers in diameter, from 25 professional vocalists who each performed singing, speaking, coughing, and breathing exercises. Each sang and spoke "Happy Birthday" in three-volume ranges: 50-60 decibels, 70-80 decibels, and 90-100 decibels. The researchers found that at the loudest level (90-100 dB), singing produced 36 times more aerosol mass than breathing; speaking at this same level produced 24 times more.
This could be very important information for performers, venues, and music/theater organizations as they consider how and when to reintroduce singing and speaking performances. By keeping the volume lower and well amplified through microphones, live performances could be possible during the Coronavirus outbreak.
Pray today for vocalists, theater performers, and bands, and orchestras that use live singing or projective speaking. Many of these are out of work right now during the Coronavirus outbreak. Pray too for music and theater venues, and arts/music organizations, who have also been hard hit economically by the shutdowns. Pray that if there are ways to resume live performances with lower volumes, these could be found and implemented.
Deut. 10:14: "Behold, to the Lord your God belong heaven and the heaven of heavens, the earth with all that is in it."