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Here's how technology is helping people carry on in the midst of the coronavirus outbreak

More than 400 people tuned in to an online choir session after its usual meetings were cancelled over coronavirus fears.

Carly Bryant, leader of The Marsh Choir, on Romney Marsh, arranged the first live stream last night, which proved a massive success.

Choir leader Carly Bryant has organised online choir sessions for all members
Choir leader Carly Bryant has organised online choir sessions for all members

It means members can still connect with each other, but from the comfort of their own homes.

It comes after Carly decided to cancel all meetings of the large choir as a safety precaution in the wake of the rising numbers of confirmed cases of Covid-19.

So far in the UK, 35 people have died, 1,372 have tested positive and 38,907 have been tested but do not have coronavirus.

In Kent, 13 cases have been confirmed.

In a statement to all 422 members, Carly said: "Like everybody, I’ve had to have a think about what to do regarding coronavirus.

Members enjoyed singing sessions from the comfort of their own homes. Picture: Carly Bryant
Members enjoyed singing sessions from the comfort of their own homes. Picture: Carly Bryant

"The overriding feeling I have is that I care enormously about each of you.

"So for that reason, I don’t want to take any risks; group singing in a confined space is not exactly the safest activity for a virus that spreads through small liquid droplets, and you know how I love you to properly spit when doing brrr rolls!

"To cut to the chase, choir will be cancelled for these last couple of weeks of term.

"Seeing as our more vulnerable members simply don’t have the option of attending the last few sessions, I wanted to find a solution that means ALL of us can finish the term the way we began it - we’re all in this together!

"I am going to do online live video streaming of each choir session at all the usual times.

More than 400 people viewed the first live stream. Picture: Carly Bryant
More than 400 people viewed the first live stream. Picture: Carly Bryant

"It’s choir in your living room. This will be an adventure and as no one can see you, you can even participate in your PJs."

The Marsh Choir is a network of seven rock, pop and soul choirs across the Romney Marsh that started in 2019.

The groups take place in St Mary's Bay, Appledore, Dymchurch, Hythe, Rye and Lydd. There is also a group for adults with special needs.

During the first session last night, 400 people viewed the live stream.

And it's not just members of The Marsh Choir, now dubbed Marsh Couch Choir, who can join in.

Carly adds: "It's for anybody and you can do as many sessions as you like as I am live online six times a week.

"The actual choir members will understand more what I am doing in the sessions as we have been working together since the beginning of term but I am also doing mass sing-a-longs to well knows songs, and that’s good for absolutely anybody.

The Marsh Choir and how sessions usually look. Picture: Carly Bryant (31705122)
The Marsh Choir and how sessions usually look. Picture: Carly Bryant (31705122)

"You can comment live so it's a good interaction tool when people are isolated."

Members, or anybody who fancies joining in, can visit here or search The Marsh Choir on Facebook.

Elsewhere in the county, students are set to start virtual learning after The University of Kent confirmed it will deliver lectures online from next Monday, March 23.

It follows a decision by the University of Greenwich to stop all face-to-face teaching.

For the latest coronavirus news and advice, click here

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