The Sunday Read: ‘Voices Carry’
What will it take to get the choir of Washington’s Skagit Valley — and the rest of the world’s choral musicians — back together again?,
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The Skagit Valley choir last sang together on the evening of March 10, 2020. This rehearsal, it would turn out, was one of the first documented superspreader events of the pandemic. Of the 61 choristers who attended practice that night, 53 developed coronavirus symptoms. Two later died.
The event served as an example to other choirs of the dangers of coming together in the pandemic. It also provided crucial evidence for scientists seeking to understand how the coronavirus was being transmitted.
Today, a look at the Skagit Valley case and the choir’s road to singing together once again.
This story was written and narrated by Kim Tingley. To hear more audio stories from publishers like The New York Times, download Audm for iPhone or Android.
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Additional production for The Sunday Read was contributed by Emma Kehlbeck, Parin Behrooz, Carson Leigh Brown, Anna Diamond, Elena Hecht, Desiree Ibekwe, Marion Lozano, Tanya Perez, Margaret Willison and Kate Winslett. Special thanks to Mike Benoist, Sam Dolnick, Laura Kim, Julia Simon, Lisa Tobin, Blake Wilson and Ryan Wegner.