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German scientists are hosting a pop concert for 4,000 people to study how the coronavirus spreads in large groups and how to combat it

German scientists are hosting a pop concert for 4,000 people to study how the coronavirus spreads in large groups and how to combat it
German scientists are hosting a pop concert for 4,000 people to study how the coronavirus spreads in large groups and how to combat it

A fog machine is even expected to be harnessed to try to help scientists visualize how the coronavirus could spread by aerosols.

  • German scientists are calling for 4,000 people to head to an indoor stadium in Leipzig to see the pop singer Tim Bendzko on August 22.
  • The purpose of the concert is to work out how to throw a large indoor event while minimizing the potential for the coronavirus to spread.
  • The plan calls for masked concertgoers to transmit data every five seconds showing where they are in the stadium, using wearable devices.
  • They will use fluorescent hand sanitizer so scientists with UV lights will be able to see what surfaces have been touched and "become particularly dangerous," according to its website.
  • A fog machine is also expected to be pumping out fog to help visualize how the coronavirus could spread by aerosols.
  • Stefan Moritz, who is coordinating the experiment, told The Guardian: "We are trying to find out if there could be a middle way between the old and the new normal that would allow organizers to fit enough people into a concert venue to not make a loss."
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

German scientists are planning to throw a concert — using fog machines, fluorescent hand sanitizer, and contact-tracing devices — to work out whether it's possible to hold large indoor events without spreading the novel coronavirus.

Scientists from the Martin Luther University of Halle-Wittenberg are calling for 4,000 people to head to an indoor stadium in Leipzig to see the German pop singer Tim Bendzko on August 22 as part of a $1.1 million project called Restart-19.

"We are trying to find out if there could be a middle way between the old and the new normal that would allow organizers to fit enough people into a concert venue to not make a loss," the university's head of clinical infectious diseases, Stefan Moritz, who is coordinating the experiment, told The Guardian.

On the university's website, it says banning crowds to limit the coronavirus' spread has become "an existential threat for many athletes and artists, who depend on their audience for income," according to Deutsche Welle.

Large crowds at official events have been rare during the pandemic.

Earlier this month, New Zealand — which appears to have largely eliminated the virus — hosted a rugby match with 20,000 attendees, and last month President Donald Trump held a rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, with about 6,200 attendees, but, as The Guardian noted, large events have mostly been canceled.

Willing participants for Restart-19 must be ages 18 to 50 and test negative for the coronavirus 48 hours before the experiment.

The participants, all wearing masks, are expected to experience three concerts — one without social distancing, one with a slower entry and more focused on hygiene, and a final version in which participants will sit far enough away from one another to maintain social distancing.

Scientists plan on collecting information in numerous ways, including participants transmitting data every five seconds about where they are in the stadium using a wearable contact-tracing device.

They will use fluorescent hand sanitizer so scientists with UV lights will be able to see what surfaces have been touched and "become particularly dangerous," according to the university's website.

The plans also call for a fog machine to pump out fog meant to help visualize how the coronavirus could spread by aerosols.

The university's website says the risk of getting COVID-19 by attending the concert will be "very low," but it does not guarantee that it's risk-free.

As of Tuesday, 878 people had registered for the concert.

If all goes well, the scientists hope to present their findings based on the data in October.

Read the original article on Business Insider
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