Christmas caroling is unsafe, says Dr. Theresa Tam. The chief public health officer said singing indoors is not recommended this Christmas even among people who are fully vaccinated, Blacklock's Reporter says.
“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 compared the coronavirus 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, echoed Tam's advice. “Can we open the windows?” said Njoo. “Can we give permission for everyone to be comfortable continuing with wearing the mask indoors, even for family members?”
“It is a good idea to consider wearing a mask for everyone, vaccinated or not vaccinated, and taking other measures to increase ventilation,” said Njoo. “Open windows to have more drafts.”
This comes after instructions in October from Ontario's chief medical officer of health Dr. Kieran Moore that halloween trick-or-treaters should not "sing or shout" for their treats.
"They'll have masks on, it's just not to yell too exuberantly. I think the purpose of that comment was not to aerosolize, and it's just a risk reduction strategy," Moore commented on his guidance.
"Clearly you have to make your presence known to get your treat, and you have to be able to knock as well as ask for the treat — we just ask not with a high volume that could potentially aerosolize."