Studies Show Men Spread COVID More Than Women and Kids

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Thanks for nothing, fellas.

A study focused on tracking the spread of COVID-19 in performing arts settings has also inadvertently unveiled the population of humans who spread the most COVID-19 particles: researchers at Colorado State University (CSU) learned that men spread the coronavirus particles more frequently than women or children. “COVID shut the performing arts down almost overnight,” said Dan Goble, Director of CSU’s School of Music, Theater and Dance. “It wasn’t just a CSU problem, this was a national problem. Think about all the public-school bands, choirs, and orchestras.”

The performing arts, from the educational level all the way to Broadway performances, were some of the most drastically impacted fields. Theaters, concert venues, and other performance spaces were completely shut down for more than a year. Goble wanted to research the correlation between the spread of COVID-19 and the performing arts since CSU fortuitously had qualified researchers and resources already on campus to do the study in-house. Goble partnered with John Volckens, a professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, to conduct the study, which lasted months and was originally developed to see what those in the performing arts can do to facilitate a safe return to the stage following the pandemic.

The research showed that children and women emit fewer particles than men. “Adults tend to emit more particles than children,” Professor Volckens said. “The reason men tend to emit more particles is because we have bigger lungs.” Volckens said the virus also spreads more easily among those who speak at louder volumes, which men tend to do more in public spaces.

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Volckens said loud enclosed locations like bars, sports arenas, and concert venues can be susceptible to high levels of spread, while other events, like a ballet with infrequent loud audience responses, are safer than a concert with thousands of screaming or singing fans. While the pandemic deeply impacted the performing arts industry, many venues are now making a strong return to the stage courtesy of masks and vaccinations.

Read the full study here.





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