Super Spreader?

Is singing a super spreader?

I’ve read several articles recently that talk about the potential for group singing to spread Coronavirus very quickly. I will put the links at the end so you can read them. They all mention some events involving choirs where people became ill and some died after singing in the choirs. It makes sense. We have a highly contagious virus that is possibly spread by droplets expelled from the mouth. Put a group of people in close proximity engaging in an activity that involves deep inhalation and exhalation of potentially germ-filled breath and you have the perfect setting for contagion. The situation seems dire for the future of group singing if we think about it in this context.

As a singer, it’s been difficult to accept all of the restrictions placed on group singing. 

I love singing. 

I love singing with other people. 

I love the way harmonies ring in my ears. 

I love how it feels when I am in a group and we are sharing our mutual love of music and whatever we are singing about. 

It is amazing and rare to share the level of camaraderie that group singing provides. Group singing is uplifting and comforting and a way for people to connect. Not to mention it is super fun!

The article is right: singing is a super spreader. But it is short-sighted to think that it is all bad and we should stop doing it. 

Singing spreads so much more than just a deadly disease. 

Singing is a super spreader of joy. It makes people happy. 

It helps people feel close to God.

It spreads cheer and healing and laughter. 

It inspires healthy movement and creativity and provides common ground for friendships. 

It helps to put into words difficult feelings and emotions and even helps us learn. 

Personally, I don’t plan to stop singing. It is my livelihood and my healing balm. I love it and I think all of the good it provides dwarfs the fact that it spreads disease, but we need to be smart and responsible about it. The article suggests practices that could make singing in choirs safe.  

I don’t know what is in store for the singing performance industry; however, I do know that singers are smart and resourceful and highly adaptable. As a singer, I want to sing, but I also don’t want to kill anyone, so I will have to get creative. There are a myriad of platforms currently available for which our craft can be shared and I am sure that in the coming months and years we will see these used in wonderfully creative ways. As for group singing, we haven’t seen the last of that, either, we just have to think outside the box. I think we are going to start seeing new ways for choirs to carry on and be able to sing together. 

I, personally, am looking for ways that Peak Vocal Academy students can sing together in the same physical space but still be responsibly distant. I believe group singing is important and we need to find a way to keep it going.

So, for all of you singers out there: please keep singing! 

Sing because it’s fun and you love it. 

Sing because it’s good for you. 

Sing because it’s good for everyone. 

Check out these articles.