Rome: Italians are beating the social isolation imposed by the country's coronavirus lockdown by taking to their windows and singing in unison, with videos of the phenomenon racking up thousands of views online.
Since Monday a series of decrees from the Italian government have drastically limited citizens' movements, with vast swathes of the economy shut down and people instructed to leave the house only when strictly necessary.
All cultural events have also been suspended, prompting some celebrities to start organising online performances and museums to put virtual tours online.
Italian singer Andrea Sannino posted a compilation on his Instagram feed of people singing his song Abbracciame (“Embrace Me”) at their windows in the southern city of Naples, his hometown.
An appeal has also been circulated on WhatsApp groups calling on Italians to play instruments at their windows at 6pm on Friday.
A whole Roman neighborhood singing a popular Italian song “Volare” from their balconies and waving at each other. An amazing flash mob to lift the spirit in these crazy times ❤️ #Italy #coronavirus #forzaitalia #roma #flashmob #love pic.twitter.com/xjeZTeO0GO— Jenna Vehviläinen (@jennavehvi) March 13, 2020
“For those few minutes, our country will become a huge free concert!” the message said, while another message is encouraging people to sing specific songs on certain days.
The flash mobs in #Italy today who blasted music from windows and balconies in the middle of a lockdown are a beautiful reminder that even in times of social isolation we are social beings h/t @yemi_adeyeye #Covid_19 #CoronavirusPandemic #italylockdown— Mona Eltahawy (@monaeltahawy) March 13, 2020
Italy has been struck by the worst European outbreak of the novel coronavirus pandemic, with more than 15,000 cases and 1,000 deaths.