Halifax — Scientists have been warning us for some time that coughing and sneezing can easily spread COVID-19 and new research has revealed that loud talking and singing present an even higher risk of transmission. Now, findings from scientists at Dalhousie University in Halifax show that the “inhaled yes,” a common speech pattern among Atlantic Canadians, is the world’s riskiest way of contracting the virus.
“Ingressive pulmonic speech, or the ‘inhaled yes’ as it’s commonly known, has been around for centuries and likely originated from the Vikings,” stated Eli Linkletter, an infectious disease researcher at Dalhousie. “In ancient times we believe it evolved to help Vikings fill their lungs with much-needed oxygen during violent battles.
“This speech pattern is especially common among older speakers on the Eastern Seaboard, so we wanted to study the intersection between the coronavirus, this speech pattern, and senior citizens’ health. Our research has shown that breathing in your ‘yeses’ or ‘yeas’ is extremely dangerous, moreso for seniors, and especially when those doing so are in close proximity to an infected individual who is talking loudly or ‘moistly’ to you.”
Following the release of the study, Chief Medical Officers from all four Atlantic Canadian Provinces held separate 2 p.m. press conferences to address the issue.
Dr. Jennifer Russell and Premier Blaine Higgs addressed New Brunswickers.
“In light of the latest research from Dalhousie University, effective immediately, we are asking all Atlantic Canadians to avoid breathing in their ‘yeses’ when they speak, especially those older individuals who are both at a higher risk for developing coronavirus-related complications and at higher risk of speaking in this manner,” stated Dr. Russell. “We recognize that it’s a difficult habit to break but we all need to do our part. Don’t you agree Higgs?”
“Yeeeeeeah, yeaaah,” breathed in Higgs. “Aw crap,” he exclaimed while slapping his face.
Meanwhile, in Newfoundland, during that province’s press briefing, Dr. Janice Fitzgerald broke some difficult news to Newfoundlanders.
“We know that this virus will be with us for quite some time and until there is a vaccine we need to take all necessary precautions to avoid transmission,” Dr. Fitzgerald warned.
“For that reason, we are cancelling Christmas mummering, as this involves the high-risk practice of breathing in while speaking. We understand that mummering involves wearing masks, but those masks are not N95 medical-grade; therefore, we have had to make this difficult choice. We hope you’ll understand.”
We asked Michael Stewart, a Prince Edward Island potato farmer, for his thoughts on the issue.
Stewart opened his mouth to speak, closed it, and then nodded. “Heard about it on the news. Hard not to do though. Really hard. Yeaaah, yeaaah, yup. Oh crud. Gonna have to just keep practising I guess.”
At press time, a bee had gotten sucked into Stewart’s esophagus, stinging his larynx on the way down, which sent him to the ICU where he remains in critical condition. He may never speak or, at the very least, breathe in his yeses again.