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Group of yodelling superspreaders suspected in pandemic

October 21, 2020 Headline News No Comments Email Email

Yodelling across mountain valleys is generally safe, but yodeling in a concert is something else, especially if the yodellers are infected with Covid-19.

At a village yodelling event last month in the rural Schwyz canton in Switzerland, a group of yodellers did their vocal best at a concert attended by 600 people.

The audience was asked to maintain social distancing, but they were not required to wear masks.

Nine days later, several members of the group were found to have been infected with the Covid-19 coronavirus. It has since spread rapidly in the Swiss region, with 1238 cases compared with just 500 in mid-September, according to reports on local television, cited by the Daily Mail.

The canton of Schwyz is located in central Switzerland between the Alps in the south, Lake Lucerne to the west and Lake Zürich in the north.

Lake Lucerne, Switzerland

Fortunately for yodellers and choristers worldwide, help is on the way. A US choir director, Kym Scott, director of choral activities at West Virginia University, has devised a “performer’s mask” that allows choir members to sing without the muffling effects of a standard facemask.

Scott designed wedding dresses before beginning her career as a choir director. The pandemic inspired her to combine the two skills.

Masked yodelling and singing may finally be possible.

In Schwyz, meanwhile, cantonal authorities have made mask-wearing compulsory at all public and private events with more than 50 people.

Switzerland has so far recorded 83,159 cases of Covid-19, with 2138 deaths, out of a population of about 8.7 million people – about one-third the population of Australia.

Written by Peter Needham

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