Christmas caroling is unsafe this year, Dr. Theresa Tam says
Dr. Theresa Tam has said that Christmas caroling this year should be considered unsafe. The chief public health officer said singing indoors is not recommended this Christmas even among people who are fully vaccinated, Blacklock’s Reporter reported.
“In the wintertime, going inside with a lot of people shouting and singing is not the best idea if COVID is circulating and accelerating outside your front door,” Tam told reporters. Tam also advised that anyone gathered for an indoor event this winter, even fully-vaccinated people should keep their windows open, “particularly if ventilation is not optimal.”
Tam likened COVID-19 to second-hand smoke that should be avoided if possible. “We’ve learned how the virus can linger in fine aerosols and remain suspended in the air we breathe much as expelled smoke lingers in poorly ventilated spaces,” said Tam.
“This is why opening a window helps reduce the risk, and why wearing a well-fitted and well-constructed mask is so important when you’re spending time in indoor public spaces, particularly if ventilation is not optimal. The risk for surges in disease activity is likely to increase with more time spent indoors.”
Dr. Howard Njoo, deputy chief public health officer, cautioned that 100% vaccination was no guarantee against becoming infected with COVID-19. “Many people think that with vaccination it is like 100 percent protection,” said Njoo. “This is not the case. It is always a question of what can be done to decrease the risks for indoor gatherings.
“Can we open the windows? Can we give permission for everyone to be comfortable continuing with wearing the mask indoors, even for family members?” she asked, adding, “It is a good idea to consider wearing a mask for everyone, vaccinated or not vaccinated, and taking other measures to increase ventilation. Open windows to have more drafts.”