As people begin to practice social distancing, the need for human connection has become greater while also becoming more dangerous. While not being able to have dinner with friends or go out and catch a show is a travesty for social butterflies, there are still ways we can encourage each other without also risking contamination.
Respecting the distance is especially important with those who are older or immunocompromised, and keeping away is not only smart; it’s an act of kindness.
Many retirement homes have closed their doors to visitors in a bid to keep residents safe. While that may help with the spread of the coronavirus, it certainly doesn’t help with the already crippling loneliness so many in the elderly community face.
So, some people have found creative ways to strengthen their bonds and bring joy to the elderly without compromising their health — and a lot of those methods have involved music.
For one family in Columbus, Ohio, that meant getting creative with an impromptu cello concert, performed by 9-year-old Taran and 6-year-old Calliope for their 78-year-old neighbor who had decided to isolate herself within her own home.
My elderly neighbor is self-isolating. So the neighbor kids are playing her a cello concert from her patio. pic.twitter.com/g6Nr2HNVho
— Jackie Borchardt (@JMBorchardt) March 16, 2020
She had food and everything else she needed, but when the family offered her a free concert, she was thrilled.
Other people have had similar ideas, including a man named Dave who quietly went about his heroic work, playing his guitar in the open space between buildings at his mother’s living facility.
If Dave’s daughter, Jenny DeLoach, hadn’t spotted him and shared his performance, people might have never known what he’d done — other than the residents, of course, who (based on the photos) were thrilled with Dave’s playing.
“My grandma’s living facility is on lockdown; I went to drop off some things for her & found my dad serenading her & her friends on his guitar since he couldn’t come in to visit,” Jenny DeLoach shared on Twitter.
My grandma’s living facility is on lockdown; I went to drop off some things for her & found my dad serenading her & her friends on his guitar since he couldn’t come in to visit 😭❤️ #Quarantine pic.twitter.com/S4xghMSIro
— Jenny DeLoach (@jennydeloach) March 16, 2020
Evan Bass (who some may recognize from “The Bachelorette“) is apparently also a friend of Dave’s, and shared the story, adding additional photos.
“My friend, Dave, is literally the best human,” Bass tweeted. “Serenading his mother and the rest of the assisted living facility from the outside bc they aren’t allowing visitors.”
“If anyone deserves to go viral it’s this man – he’s done stuff like this for years and years,” he added.
Here’s another cute one. ❤️ pic.twitter.com/QeCmoJA5wp
— Evan Bass (@ebassclinics) March 16, 2020
Many commented to commend Dave or share their own current situations regarding loved ones in retirement homes and communities.
“My mom’s memory care unit is on lockdown as well, but they aren’t fortunate enough to have outside access like your grandma’s building,” one person wrote. “I know how it feels to not be able to visit except for phone calls. Your dad is awesome!”
“This is the best thing I’ve seen so far,” wrote another. “That’s love right there.”
Gestures like this don’t cost much more than time and effort and certainly seem to keep people’s spirits up even when loved ones have to stay out of arm’s reach. Perhaps we all can find similar ways of bringing comfort to those who need a little cheering up during this time.
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