Shhh…Want to help stop COVID? Be quiet.

There’s another extremely simple thing that might help reduce COVID transmission – quieting down.  This is a bit of a sensitive topic, because we all talk.  And sometimes we all talk too loudly.  But hospitals are filling up so, well, it’s time to talk about talking.

Human beings are wind instrument that generate aerosols.  Small particles are produced as exhaled gas rushes past vibrating vocal cords.  As this gas passes further through the tongue, lips, and teeth, sounds from the vocal cords are modulated – generating additional particles.​1​ Aerosol generation is exacerbated by speaking at higher volumes and at higher pitches.​2,3​ Scientists have dissected this down to specific sounds which generate more particles than others.​4​

There’s no solid, RCT-level evidence that being quiet reduces the spread of COVID. Nor will there ever be (some things are just too difficult to study with an RCT). But quieting down makes sense and it’s very easy and safe to do. There is literally zero cost or risk involved.

PulmCrit – Want to help stop COVID? Be quiet —