Riva Capellari

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Located in Brookside in the heart of Kansas City

COVID After Effects- Concerns for Singers

Almost a year later I am still writing about COVID and its negative effects for singers. Surviving COVID is of course the number one outcome we all want, but “long-haulers” are those that continue to have deleterious “after effects” officially known as “sequelae”.  Here are a few:

Lung capacity can be reduced through pulmonary fibrosis and can be permanent. As a singer (or athlete) having reduced lung capacity can be a career ender.

Inflammation of the heart (myocarditis). This, along with respiratory problems, can limit one’s activities including enjoyable singing among many other things.

Chronic fatique and muscles aches. Singing can be a very athletic endeavor (opera singers singing over 60 piece orchestras and pop singers dancing around the stage). Chronic fatigue not only effects performance,  but the engaged rehearsal and practice needed to prepare for one.

Those who have been intubated for respiratory failures, can experience vocal fold injuries related to this medical treatment (the tube is inserted between the vocal folds into your trachea) , especially if they have been intubated for long periods of time.

The virus could cause vocal fold paralysis or paresis and possible sensory neuropathy. Although there is some treatment available for paraylsis and paresis, it can be expensive and not provide complete recovery of the vocal folds. Unhealthy vocal folds of any kind, prohibit good singing, in particular on the professional level. This can also efffect your speaking voice.

Other symptoms you probably are familiar with are loss of taste and smell, dizziness and headaches. These are general after effects that no one really wants, but for singers, again, it can be a career breaker.

Brain fog, short term memory loss, and mental health issues such as depression, anxiety and PTSD are also possible remnants of COVID.

Many non-singers may have thought that we (singers) were being alarmists when the science behind the spread of the virus was published (getting sick from aerolisized particles is decades old*). The professional singing world took note and immediately took precautions. As an older adult with underlying conditions, I continue to teach only online and live in a manner that will hopefully keep me safe from the virus flying around in the air in closed-in areas where there is little or no ventilation (and where the density of these infected aerolsals increases with time) and where people are not wearing masks (think eating indoors at a restaurant). Not only my life, but my voice is at risk. I find my choices to live in a bubble a very small price to pay for the survival of both.

  • go to the link provided at the top of the website page. A great demo on how this all happens.







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