ABOVE: Shweta Pandit, a well-known Indian actress, and singer, appeared on the Tuesday afternoon edition of CBN's Newswatch to give an update on what it's like being in a country that's completely lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Pandit and her Italian husband are in quarantine in Florence, Italy. Newswatch is seen weekdays on the CBN News Channel. For a programming schedule, click here.
Neighborhoods all over Italy are on lockdown following a surge in coronavirus cases, but that hasn't stopped them from finding ways to keep their spirits up.
Thousands of Italians have ventured out onto their balconies to sing aloud together in an effort to feel more connected.
The word has gotten out on social media, calling people to join in while still practicing social distancing.
In one neighborhood in Rome, a popular doorman has turned into a musical 'conductor',
putting on a mask and gloves to lead his building residents in a daily singalong of "Volare", a classic 1950s song that means "To Fly".
One Twitter user wrote, "People of my hometown #Siena sing a popular song from their houses along an empty street to warm their hearts during the Italian #Covid_19 #lockdown."
People of my hometown #Siena sing a popular song from their houses along an empty street to warm their hearts during the Italian #Covid_19 #lockdown.#coronavirusitalia #COVID19 #coronavirus pic.twitter.com/7EKKMIdXov
— valemercurii (@valemercurii) March 12, 2020
Ryan Meilak tweeted, "People locked inside turn to their windows and balconies singing so everyone feels less lonely. Here is #Naples singing "Abbracciame" (Hug me). #Coronavirus #CoronavirusUSA."
Italy. People locked inside turn to their windows and balconies singing so everyone feels less lonely. Here is #Naples singing "Abbracciame" (Hug me). #Coronavirus #CoronavirusUSA pic.twitter.com/DHVPvxbB8d
— Ryan Meilak (@rmeilak) March 13, 2020
And residents of Siena and Napoli have been singing the popular song "Abbracciami Forte," which means "Hold me tight."
This is poetic. People of Siena, Napoli, Rome go out on their balconies and sing together during lockdown. The name of the song below is “Abbracciami forte”, which means “Hold me tight.” In the end, only love prevails. Forza sempre, strength, always. pic.twitter.com/lGxmSyl6sb
— Ayse Kaya (@akfirat) March 14, 2020
Italy reported 349 new coronavirus-related deaths in the country Monday. That increased the total number of deaths to 2,503 out of 28,000 confirmed cases in the country. Italy has been hit hardest by the coronavirus out of any European country.
The country has a high percentage of elderly citizens, with 23 percent over the age of 65. AP reports most deaths in the country have hit people aged 80 or higher.