Photo by Maddy Tansley '23
At the start of the pandemic, restaurants and shops were closed down to prevent the spread of the virus. Since then, they have been reopened with new safety precautions such as outdoor dining and socially-distances tables. One aspect of restaurant dining, however, is just recently being added back into the scene: live music.
In order for musicians to safely perform during times of COVID-19 there needs to be better ventilation; therefore, waiting until the warmer months to resume live music outdoors would create a safer environment for the restaurant patrons as well as the musicians.
In addition to outdoor seating there are measures that can be taken in order to ensure a safe experience. For example, COVID testing the musician(s) before they perform is a simple yet effective method to determine whether or not they could spread the virus to customers.
Musicians performing at restaurants create some safety concerns because they make it easier to spread germs to the people dining out, according to WebMD. In addition, according to Massachusetts Eve & Ear, there are more aerosols created in the lungs of someone singing that could possibly escape the mask and be spread out farther and in larger quantities; however, it is possible to sing with a mask on.
To prevent unwanted germs from spreading, musicians can also use a clear screen divider and sing into a microphone so the speakers can pick up their voice and the divider will block any aerosols from entering the crowd.
Having live music at restaurants brings back a sense of normalcy that customers are accustomed to, according to WHSV-TV. This brings back the pre-pandemic atmosphere and what life was like before masks and social distancing. Nevertheless, the pandemic is still raging in some places and it shouldn’t be too rushed to get things back to normal.
Live music is an important step on the journey of returning the world back to normal, and with the new, more contagious strain of the virus entering the US the pandemic is seeming to be never ending. It is too dangerous at this time to allow musicians to perform live at restaurants; however, in the coming months when more vaccines are administered the environment will become safer.
Safety is very important in times of COVID; however, there are precautions that can be taken to make sure that everyone can remain safe while having fun. These precautions work better in warmer weather for outside dining, so live music should hold off until spring when people begin eating outside again.