The Philippine National Police is under fire today for a video that's currently going viral on Twitter. The clip is part of a Twitter thread by Reuters staff @eloisaalopez and shows the current state of the Rizal Memorial Stadium where reportedly 8,000 locally stranded individuals have been relocated as they wait for the free ride home to their respective provinces.
As an effort to cheer up and probably make their experience worthwhile at the sports complex, the official PNP band decided to play them a song from Filipino composer Rey Valera. The only problem is, the band opted to use wind instruments for their rendition, that raised eyebrows for a lot of netizens.
It's common knowledge that COVID-19 is spread through droplets, thus the mandate to wear masks at all times. So the PNP playing certain wind instruments such as trumpets and saxophones (where the musician actively blows into the instrument with occasional saliva transmission) is possibly hazardous.
According to sciencemag.org, a research conducted by the University of Colorado is working on experiments to test the possible spread of the virus through wind-blown musical instruments, and even the act of singing. One of their experiments involved measuring and detecting the spread of virulent droplets within a contained room where a choir singer and trumpet players would perform a solo piece one by one for the researchers to properly observe the particles emitted from their breath. The initial results revealed that aerosols produced from such instruments are large enough to carry the virus in the air. Though their findings have yet to be reviewed by other scientists and still require further research, they advise to take the side of caution and practice heightened social-distancing to avoid any form of infection.
In the viral video of the Rizal Memorial Stadium however, even social-distancing is not practiced among the band members nor its audience.