Covid Panel at NATS Virtual Conference 2020

A report by EVTA President Susan Yarnall-Monks


These are the main points I took from this webinar which is still available on the NATS website:


A. Know what your personal risk is, have you got diabetes, heart problems, etc.???


B. How do we avoid contracting Covid19?
2 types of transmission
1. handshake direct contact between 2 people
2. Airbourne and this is the most important for singers and teacers of singing need to be aware of risk
3. Droplots is the largeest more in cough than speech- this are minority transmission Small particles less than 1 micron they carry a little virus because they are so small but they stay in air
4. Aerosol- these are the most concerning, they evaporate they concentrate the viral load and they can float for hours in the air. We know these are the worst for transmission.
5. Singers need to mitigate the risk


C. Wear a mask: Just because you don’t have symptoms you can still have lung disease. Walking pneumonia - hard to understand.
For average person it means reduced respitory function BUT for singers and teachers it could be seriuosly life changing.
We are vocal athletes and we can be affected seriously!


D. Our understanding is just beginning to grow.
It is not just being ill and then recovering (a simple binary phenomenon) - there are medical conditions that are persisting.
Good news is that medical research is responding so FAST to this pandemic! Secondary Problems
1. Trauma from mechanical ventilation
2. Breathing tubes injury to crico arytenoid joints
3. Soft tissue injuries, mucosal injury vocal fold scarring Plus:
1. Neurological - vocal fold paralysis
2. Subtle a-symmetry of vocal folds
3. Chronic fatigue


E. Dose x Time = Risk of infection
1. Fundamentals

  • masking
  • hand hygiene
  • disinfectant
  • social distancing

2. Your own sense of RISK
3. Critical analysis of your Work Place
do do a Risk anaylsis of your environment Enhanced precautions because of aerosolisation
4. Work Flow - have you assessed your teaching schedules longer contact more risk!



The Speakers were asked: What thoughts do you want to leave your audience?
1. Let’s be careful out there
2. Consider other people and yourself
3. Singers and Teachers of Singing you need your LUNGS so stay safe
4. Wear a MASK- a stepping stone to move forward!!!
5. Stay Positive- we will survive
6. Knowledge is power: Smarter decisions are important