We are currently living in an altogether different time now. Things that were considered as part of normal life is now dangerous. While we practice social distancing and try following better hygiene practices, that does not seem to be enough. Something as simple as singing 'Happy Birthday' can cause the infectious droplets of coronavirus to spread. Aerosol researchers at Lund University, Sweden studied the number of particles emitted while singing and the impact this has on the spread of the virus. According to the study, the enunciation of Bs and Ps releases large droplets which may be infectious. Birthday During Quarantine? From Toilet Paper Cakes to Drive-by Parties, Here's How People Are Celebrating Birthdays While Social Distancing (Watch Viral Videos and Pics)
To understand how the virus particles are emitted while singing, researchers had 12 healthy singers and two people infected with Covid-19 to sing into a funnel. The result showed that particularly loud and consonant-rich singing found in songs like Happy Birthday results in the spreads a lot of droplets into the surrounding air.
However, if participants wear a face mask, practice social distancing and implement good ventilation, then the risk can be reduced. The NHS has recommended people to sing 'Happy Birthday' twice while washing hands as it is the perfect amount of time to ensure as many germs are removed. The researchers explained that the idea for the study came after an increase in the spread of COVID-19 cases in connection with choirs singing together. Creative Ways to Make Your Birthday Memorable During the Pandemic When You Cannot Celebrate by Throwing a Party Outside!
Study author Jakob Löndahl, associate professor of Aerosol Technology said, "Different restrictions have been introduced all over the world to make singing safer. So far, however, there has been no scientific investigation of the amount of aerosol particles and larger droplets that we actually exhale when we sing."
Co-author Malin Alsved, a doctoral student was quoted as saying, "Some droplets are so large that they only move a few decimetres from the mouth before they fall, whereas others are smaller and may continue to hover for minutes. In particular, the enunciation of consonants releases very large droplets and the letters B and P stand out as the biggest aerosol spreaders." Wedding in Times of Coronavirus: Rajasthan Couple Ties Knot, Families Witness Rituals via Video Conference.
Researchers are of the opinion you can celebrate a birthday and sing in a place with good ventilation thus reducing the concentration of aerosol particles in the air. Löndahl was quoted as saying, "When the singers were wearing a simple face mask this caught most of the aerosols and droplets and the levels were comparable with ordinary speech. Singing does not need to be silenced, but presently it should be done with appropriate measures to reduce the risk of spreading infection." The findings have been published in the journal Aerosol Science and Technology.
(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Sep 09, 2020 03:02 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website latestly.com).