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Say goodbye to choirs for a while

Posted  May 26, 2020  by  Anonymous

When I grew up, of course we were all in the Children’s Choir at church, and every school grade had its own choir every year to perform at the school Christmas concert. Its how I learned all my carols and Christmas songs
Of course its been years now since I was in a choir, but I do remember once, about 40 years ago, when I participated with hundreds of others in a Sing-Along Messiah at the McPherson Playhouse in Victoria —  what a great experience that was.
Now we are finding out that the recent COVID research says choirs are a prime mode of virus transmission:

It may be the single most famous outbreak in the U.S.: the Skagit County, Wash., choir practice.
Last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention compiled the results of its contact tracing. The choir met every Tuesday evening until March 10. At that last meeting, 61 members were present and chairs were arranged close together in six rows of 20 with many empty chairs. They practiced for 40 minutes together, for 50 minutes separated into two smaller groups, and then for 45 minutes sang together again. There was a 15-minute break between the second and third session for oranges and cookies, but many didn’t eat.  No one reported physical contact between members and most everyone left immediately after practice. Hand sanitizer was distributed. But, in the end, 53 of the 61 contracted the coronavirus. Three were hospitalized, two died.
This seems to happen repeatedly. The Amsterdam Mixed Choir gave a performance March 8; 102 out of 130 singers tested positive. Fifty members of the Berlin Cathedral Choir tested positive as well.

I’ll bet it has something to do with the act of singing – maybe the forceful expelling of breath from deep in the lungs spreads the virus droplets further. Who knows? 
Whatever the reason, I think singing together in public is likely not going to be happening anymore, not until a vaccine is available.
So I guess there are going to be no more Choir!Choir!Choir! experiences:

This may be the way choirs will sing together now:

Even the Mormon Tabernacle Choir did an online Sing-Along Messiah this Easter.
But for one last time, here’s the real thing:

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Saturday Stories: Peer Review, #Masks4All, Talking To Kids, And The Public Health Of Protests

Posted  June 27, 2020  by  Yoni Freedhoff

Simine Vazire, in Wired, on the failings of scientific peer review

Kimberly A. Prather, Chia C. Wang, and Robert T. Schooley, in Science, on how to reduce transmission of SARS-CoV2 (tl;dr – wear a mask)

Kate Julian, in The Atlantic, on how to talk to kids about the sad, scary, and unjust issues permeating society today.

Tara Haelle, in Forbes, on why public health experts support Black lives matter protests.

Photo By Mike Shaheen – https://www.flickr.com/photos/63015897@N02/49979513917/, CC BY 2.0, Link

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