Singing uplifts your mood. It can stimulate circulation.
Singing exercises your lungs. It allows for increased oxygen intake.
Some say singing can even prolong your life!
So, go on and do your best “Buddy the Elf” impersonation and belt it out…in a store and everything!
But, wait…what about corona, Covid, or any of her lesser known names?
Some fear the respiratory droplets that could be passed through normal conversation could worsen with the health-promoting activity of singing.
But, are these fears and their resulting mandates, cancellations, and restrictions warranted?
Is singing any worse than talking when it comes to the spread of the coronavirus?
Singing Isn’t Worse Than Talking
You can meet, but don’t greet. You can look, but don’t touch. You can talk, but don’t sing.
These rules seem to be taking over our lives.
Is anything safe? I mean, raise your hand if you’re starting to feel like a toddler in this Covid world!
You know, where you feel like you just can’t touch or do anything without an “a-a-at” from your government mommy.
But, it’s all for our good, right, because there is some evidence to back the recommendations that we’ve seen rolled out in these last months.
The areas where science has spoken in regards to the spread of this virus, revolve around aerosols.
These tiny particles that we exhale are the reasons for these mandates and recommendations.
It has been concluded that a person who is sick with Covid-19 can spread the virus through respiratory droplets (aerosols) as they talk, cough, or sneeze within a certain distance (primarily 6 feet) of other individuals.
A secondary concern is that these infected respiratory droplets can then land on surfaces and transmit the virus to those who come in contact with said surfaces.
But, what about singing? It seems that this is more feared than even talking in regards to this virus and the potential for its spread through those respiratory droplets.
All across the country, from Kentucky to California, governors have sought to eliminate the possibility of singing where gatherings are permitted.
These governors have been legally challenged regarding this overreach and have legally lost those battles.
Some say their mandates were challenged and thus negated due to their unconstitutional nature. And, while that is absolutely true, would a look at science at the start of it all have prevented such constitutional grievances in the first place?
What Does The Evidence Say?
Is there really any significant evidence to show that singing can spread the virus any more than talking?
Short answer: NO!
A study was recently done with 25 professional singers from various backgrounds.
In this study, these singers participated in a variety of singing exercises including changes in range, pitch, and volume.
This was done in a theater where no other aerosols were present, and researchers inspected the aerosols produced by varying sounds directly from the singers.
Their findings proved that while loud singers could carry more risk of transmitting aerosols, this was no different than the transmission risk with loud talkers.
This research “suggests that there is no specific excess risk of transmission due to singing,” which has now led to recommendations for safe operation in performing arts settings amidst this covid season that we’re still finding ourselves in.
With proper ventilation and distancing, this study has shown that both performing and singing together in crowds (such as in a religious setting) can be done safely.
Though, some choirs are still relying on what they believe to be an added safety measure when singing together: masks.
And, now, not just in choirs, masks can mean far more than perceived protection from the coronavirus. In fact, wearing one might just keep you out of jail!
Mask Orders Are Escalating To Fines And Jail Time
“So, what are you in for?”
“I shot a man in Reno…how about you?”
“Didn’t wear a mask into Target.”
“Guards, please, get me away from this monster!!!”
Come on, folks! Is this what corona has come to? Apparently, yes!
In Washington state, not following the governor’s mask mandates “to the letter,” has now resulted in a mask up or suit up (orange prison jumpsuits that is) situation.
In fact, violating these mask mandates in one east Washington county is now a gross misdemeanor punishable by a year in jail and/or up to $5,000 in fines.
I thought Ashton Kutcher’s Punk’d days were over? This canNOT be real. Show me the hidden camera.
Folks, not only is it real, it doesn’t seem like it will be going away any time soon.
Results from various studies are truly all across the spectrum on the effectiveness of masks, yet, this is the horse that is being ridden here in the good ole US of A.
So, if your workplace or governing authorities where you live have removed your choice of whether or not to wear a mask, what do you need to know about your options?
What types of masks are available? Which ones work? Which ones don’t?
Types Of Masks
Many, from healthcare workers to previous statements by Dr. Anthony Fauci and the WHO, have stated that the effectiveness of masks is not only limited, but may cause folks wearing them to gain a false sense of security.
Even companies manufacturing masks have begun to print warnings listed on their packaging informing the buyer that the mask will indeed NOT guarantee protection from Covid-19.
But, none of that matters when you are forced to:
- Wear a mask or be fined
- Wear a mask or go to jail
- Wear a mask or lose your job
So, if you’re in a place where mandates abound, here’s a look at the popular masks and their effectiveness:
N-95 reusable masks seem to be the most effective at particle filtration. These medical masks, according to the NY Times, filter 95% of particles as small as 0.3 microns.
If you’re looking for maximum protection, N95 is the only way to go, and…
Surgical or Medical
The penetration of particles by surgical masks has been found to be 44%, meaning that these commonly used disposable masks only tote about 56% effectiveness.
It is noteworthy that a few cases have found these masks to provide a potential for 80% effectiveness, but this was a small study with complete contingency on the mask being worn correctly.
While this type of mask seems to be the covering of choice for most Americans, its effectiveness is alarmingly low (at least if you are truly wearing the mask to both avoid spreading or catching the coronavirus).
One study showed the penetration of particles (or droplets) in a cloth mask to be nearly 97%!
If your jaw just dropped, I’m assuming you did the math there. Yep, only 3% effective.
Another popular type of cloth facial covering is a bandana. In a 100% cotton bandana, studies show that this type of “mask” only captured or trapped 20% of respiratory particles…when it was doubled over twice!!
When doubled over twice, this would mean that you have four layers of protection which still only totals a 20% reduction in transmission.
So, what about those who have taken to their sewing machines or those who’ve been scouring Etsy for homemade masks? What does science say about the protection they offer in the Covid battle?
Many of these homemade masks, to be effective, are incorporating added filters.
One type of filter being used is a coffee filter.
A New York Times article cited the effectiveness of two brands of coffee filters: Brew Rite and Natural Brew basket style filters. When used in three-layer stacks, these provided 40-50% filtration.
Other homemade varieties incorporated the use of actual HVAC filters cut and sewn into masks. And, these allergy-reducing filters captured 94% of particles when double layered.
Six layers of a regular furnace filter achieved N-95 mask success at 95% filtration.
The problem with these inserted filters arose with the inhalation of small particles from the actual filters, proving their use to be risky.
And, breathing in particles from filters in masks isn’t the only problem that is arising regarding facial coverings…
Mask Shortages Are Likely
Can you recall the headlines at the beginning of this pandemic?
“Shortages of PPE for healthcare workers!”
They’ve been dubbed the super heroes of this Covid battle. They have tirelessly worked on the front lines putting their own health and well-being at risk while caring for those affected by this virus.
So, surely they deserve protection from said virus, right?
But, wait…if every healthy person in the country is forced to wear a mask or go to jail, what happens to our health care workers?
Yep, you guessed it! Their ability to find masks is affected yet again.
Just a month ago, doctors and nurses were having to reuse N-95 masks for days, some even weeks, due to a shortage.
Some offices had to close completely because they simply could not obtain appropriate amounts of PPE for their staff.
That was mid-July.
Since then, many schools and colleges have reopened, most requiring masks to be worn. And, more and more states are following suit with mask mandates that hold steep penalties if not followed.
Logic tells us this is only going to lead to a greater mask shortage… especially if you want a mask that actually works well.
Fortunately, we’ve gotten access to a supply of N95 masks that are comfortable, won’t fog your glasses, and are discounted 40% off through this link. They sold out within 48 hours of our last announcement, so hurry!