Here we are, halfway through the year. We all stopped singing together in mid-March, and it’s been 100 days (give or take) for most of us now. Everything has changed, and I can’t say I’m a big fan of this brave, new world of no community singing.
But this is where we are. At the moment, the government has offered no guidance on singing in a community setting, so we are all twiddling our thumbs and waiting to see what they say. When a pronouncement is made, I can confidently predict that some people will agree with it, and some people with disagree with it, and a political argument will ensue.
But here are the facts:
- Singing has been identified as a very high-risk activity because of the spread of aerosol particles when we push air out of our throats and mouths under pressure.
- The 2metre social distancing rule is not sufficient for singing.
- As lockdown eases, many areas are experiencing an uptick in C-19 cases, meaning that it is growing in prevalence in the population.
- There have been multiple cases of large scale infection in choirs both in the UK and in the US.
- C-19 is most dangerous for older people, or those with underlying health issues.
- Choral singing is most popular with older people, many of whom live with underlying health issues.
A Choral Leader friend of mine from London – the amazing Mich Sampson – pointed me at the following document which outlines much of the evidence on various aspects of the C-19 situation as it currently stands. I would recommend reading it – it is long, but links to many very useful and informative sources of information.
As things stand, I have cancelled all singing until at least September. Much as it grieves me to say it, I think we should probably prepare ourselves to accept that we might be looking at 2021 before being able to resume singing. There are so many major holidays and causes for celebration between now and January 2021 that I don’t really want to think about our our wonderful communities not being able to raise their voices in joy, but it is – at the moment – a distinct possibility.
Stay safe, lovely singers – we’re not out of the woods yet…