Experimental Covid-19 Concert Staged In Germany
via NBC News/YouTube
The Project Is Called “Restart-19”
Over a thousand music fans were given a chance to attend a show in Leipzig, Germany but it’s all for an experiment. Because the Covid-19 pandemic has prevented mass gatherings for months now, researchers have been looking for means to organize gigs while avoiding the spread of the virus. On Saturday, a 1,500-person experimental indoor concert was held to better understand how coronavirus spreads at busy events and also how to prevent it.
It featured a performance by singer-songwriter Tim Bendzko and attendees were given face masks, fluorescent hand gel, and small transmitters that serve as contact trackers. The researchers ran three scenarios – a traditional pre-Covid19 concert, a crowded show with improved hygiene restrictions, and reduced number of people in the crowd who practiced social distancing.
The scientists from The University of Halle will then use the contact trackers to profile and monitor the “critical contacts”. They’re hoping to use this data to minimize risk of infection in concerts or sports events in the future.
Project leader Professor Michael Gekle told CNN, “We cannot afford another lockdown. We have to gather the data now in order to be able to make valid predictions.”
He added, “There is no zero risk if you want to have life. We want to give the politicians a tool in order to decide rationally whether to allow such an event or not. That means they have to have the tool to predict how many additional infected people such an event will produce.”