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The Guardian view on singing in groups: hitting the right notes | Editorial

Singing together is good for our health and happiness. We should do all we can to support it

Hark – it’s not just herald angels singing. From choirs in care homes to choirs in cathedrals, from organised singalongs to children belting out We Wish You a Merry Christmas in school halls, voices are raised in song, and raised together. For some, this is the only time of year that such singing happens.

It feels as if this is how it has always been. But of course indoor singing was prohibited, along with all other communal activities, in March 2020. Apart from a few months when a couple of UK government-sponsored studies meant indoor singing was allowed in carefully distanced groups of six, amateur choirs as we generally know them were muted for more than 18 months. Much guidance about singing during that time went back to a paper about one superspreader incident in the US early in the pandemic. As we said at the time, more information was urgently needed. That information is now available. Researchers recently concluded that most choir members who fell ill in the US incident, in Mount Vernon, Washington, had already been infected. A recent exhibition at the Bodleian Library in Oxford may have displayed a choral manuscript eroded by years of chorister spittle, yet it turns out that singing is no more dangerous, Covid-wise, than talking at a similar volume.

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Read the original article at The Guardian

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