There are Covid-19 bubbles — small clusters of pals or household who conform to socialize completely with one another through the pandemic — after which there are the sorts of bubbles the Flaming Lips used at current live shows.
Band members and concertgoers rocked out and bounced whereas encased in massive particular person plastic bubbles amid shiny swirling lights in trippy scenes at live shows on Friday and Saturday in Oklahoma Metropolis.
The band has taken the elaborate precautions at its dwell performances to guard in opposition to the transmission of the coronavirus, however some well being consultants had been not sure concerning the effectiveness of these measures.
“I’d must see how the air change was occurring between the skin and the within of the bubbles to have the ability to say if it had been protected over all or diminished danger of transmission,” mentioned Dr. Eric Cioe-Peña, director of world well being at Northwell Well being in New Hyde Park, N.Y.
The live shows held on Friday and Saturday had been initially scheduled for December, however the band postponed them due to rising Covid-19 circumstances within the Oklahoma Metropolis metro space.
“It’s a really restricted, bizarre occasion,” the band’s frontman, Wayne Coyne, told Rolling Stone last month. “However the weirdness is so we are able to get pleasure from a live performance earlier than placing our households and everyone in danger.”
“I believe it’s a little bit of a brand new regular,” he added. “You may go to a present, you won’t, however I believe we’re going to have the ability to work it out.”
In March, Mr. Coyne posted a sketch on Instagram displaying what the bubble live performance may appear like.
Nathan Poppe, a videographer and photographer documenting the present for the band, said on Twitter that the ground was arrange in a grid of 10 bubbles by 10 bubbles. “Every bubble might comprise one individual or two or possibly three,” he mentioned.
Photos showed fans climbing inside the spheres on the live performance ground, the place the bubbles had been then inflated with leaf blowers.
Every bubble got here geared up with a high-frequency speaker, water bottle, fan, towel and a sign if somebody had to make use of the restroom or if it was too sizzling 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 had been attended by about 200 individuals every.
Some well being consultants had considerations about customers’ security contained in the bubbles.
“There isn’t any proof concerning the efficacy — or lack thereof — of those bubbles from an infectious illness transmission viewpoint,” mentioned Dr. Sandro Galea, dean of the Boston College Faculty of Public Well being.
He mentioned that virus transmission management will depend on good air circulation and filtration.
“So, in principle, if air filtration is nice, protecting boundaries can helpfully increase and scale back danger of transmission, however I might be hesitant to attend a live performance in a bubble in the mean time except this has been assessed additional,” he mentioned.
Dr. Cioe-Peña mentioned the plastic bubbles used on the live shows appeared to be unventilated. But when every of the bubbles “had a bidirectionally filtered air provide,” he mentioned, “this may successfully forestall Covid transmission between bubbles.”
Whereas a plastic bubble might assist scale back publicity to “infectious brokers” whether it is stuffed with filtered air, it might additionally result in raised carbon dioxide ranges contained in the bubble, mentioned Richard E. Peltier, an affiliate professor of environmental well being sciences on the College of Massachusetts Amherst.
“My suggestion could be so as to add a small CO2 sensor to the bubble,” he mentioned. “Although they aren’t at all times probably the most exact, they need to be adequate to inform a concertgoer that it’s time for a break and refresh that stale air. After which get again to having fun with the music safely.”