The Flaming Lips Performed to People in Literal Bubbles. Is It Safer?

There are Covid-19 bubbles — small clusters of associates or household who conform to socialize solely with one another in the course of the pandemic — after which there are the sorts of bubbles the Flaming Lips used at current concert events.

Band members and concertgoers rocked out and bounced whereas encased in massive particular person plastic bubbles amid vivid swirling lights in trippy scenes at concert events on Friday and Saturday in Oklahoma City.

The band has taken the frilly precautions at its dwell performances to guard in opposition to the transmission of the coronavirus, however some well being consultants have been uncertain in regards to the effectiveness of these measures.

“I’d must see how the air trade was occurring between the surface and the within of the bubbles to have the ability to say if it have been secure over all or lowered danger of transmission,” mentioned Dr. Eric Cioe-Peña, director of worldwide well being at Northwell Health in New Hyde Park, N.Y.

The Flaming Lips, a psych-rock band based within the early Eighties and recognized for his or her exuberant dwell reveals and recording experiments, had an analogous live performance in October, and in addition had carried out their music “Race for the Prize” in June utilizing the spheres on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.”

Credit…Scott Booker

The concert events held on Friday and Saturday have been initially scheduled for December, however the band postponed them due to rising Covid-19 instances within the Oklahoma City metro space.

“It’s a really restricted, bizarre occasion,” the band’s frontman, Wayne Coyne, advised Rolling Stone final month. “But the weirdness is so we will get pleasure from a live performance earlier than placing our households and everyone in danger.”

“I feel it’s a little bit of a brand new regular,” he added. “You may go to a present, you may not, however I feel we’re going to have the ability to work it out.”

In March, Mr. Coyne posted a sketch on Instagram exhibiting what the bubble live performance may seem like.

Nathan Poppe, a videographer and photographer documenting the present for the band, mentioned on Twitter that the ground was arrange in a grid of 10 bubbles by 10 bubbles. “Each bubble might comprise one individual or two or perhaps three,” he mentioned.

Photos confirmed followers climbing inside the spheres on the live performance ground, the place the bubbles have been then inflated with leaf blowers.

Each bubble got here outfitted with a high-frequency speaker, water bottle, fan, towel and an indication if somebody had to make use of the restroom or if it was too scorching inside. If it bought too stuffy inside, the bubble could possibly be refilled with cool air, Mr. Poppe mentioned.

He mentioned concertgoers might take their masks off contained in the bubble however needed to put on them after leaving the bubble.

“You roll your bubble to the exit and unzip it on the door,” he mentioned.

It was not instantly clear what turned of the used bubbles after the 90-minute performances, which have been attended by about 200 folks every.

Some well being consultants had issues about customers’ security contained in the bubbles.

“There isn’t any proof in regards to the efficacy — or lack thereof — of those bubbles from an infectious illness transmission viewpoint,” mentioned Dr. Sandro Galea, dean of the Boston University School of Public Health.

He mentioned that virus transmission management will depend on good air circulation and filtration.

“So, in idea, if air filtration is nice, protecting obstacles can helpfully increase and cut back danger of transmission, however I’d be hesitant to attend a live performance in a bubble in the meanwhile until this has been assessed additional,” he mentioned.

Dr. Cioe-Peña mentioned the plastic bubbles used on the concert events appeared to be unventilated. But if every of the bubbles “had a bidirectionally filtered air provide,” he mentioned, “this could successfully forestall Covid transmission between bubbles.”

At least 48 new Covid-19 deaths and a pair of,941 new instances have been reported in Oklahoma on Sunday, in accordance to a New York Times database.

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