Coming up on Connections: Thursday, June 25

Jun 25, 2020

Credit Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

First hour: Why New Zealand has been so effective in crushing the coronavirus

Second hour: The future of choirs and singing during the pandemic

Why have some countries been so effective at crushing the coronavirus, while the United States has plateaued? We get perspective from guests with roots in New Zealand, which has been perhaps the most successful country in the world during the pandemic. They discuss cultural differences that have played into responses to COVID-19. Our guests:

  • Mike Johansson, New Zealand native, social media strategist, and senior lecturer of communication at RIT
  • Chris Thomas, partner with Nixon Peabody whose family has roots in New Zealand

Then in our second hour, when will it be safe to sing together again? It’s a question the New York Times asked earlier this month when reporting on how choirs have been linked to several coronavirus outbreaks. Scientific research shows that COVID-19 is primarily transmitted through respiratory droplets. When singers project in performance settings, they may unwittingly spread the virus, if infected. There have been conflicting messages across the globe about the risk of singing during the pandemic. This hour, we discuss what the data shows and how local and national groups are adapting, both in the short and long term. Our guests:

  • Lee Wright, director of music ministry at Downtown United Presbyterian Church, and founder artistic director of First Inversion choral ensemble
  • Janet Galván, professor of performance studies, and director of choral activities and conducting at Ithaca College
  • Dr. Scott Stratton-Smith, family medicine specialist with Rochester Regional Health
  • Brenda Tremblay, host for WXXI's Classical 91.5, and member of a local choir