Poignant footage from the Italian city of Siena has emerged, showing neighbours leaning from their windows to sing with each other during the nationwide lockdown.
The video has been widely shared on social media, and offers a timely reminder of the importance of community spirit and solidarity during such periods of crisis.
The song, entitled Canto della Verbena (And While Siena Sleeps), is a beloved local folk song traditionally sung as a means of expressing pride in the beautiful Tuscan city.
The video was shared by writer David Allegranti, who said:
In Siena, the city to which I am very attached, you stay at home but you sing together as if you were on the street. I was moved.
Many people have been left deeply touched by the heartwarming footage, which perfectly illustrates the enduring resilience and pride of the Italian people during what is a very difficult time.
Composer, broadcaster and writer Howard Goodall replied:
As evening falls in locked-down Siena, citizens confined to their homes are singing together as if they are on the street. What a moving testament to the instinctively musical & open-hearted people of Italy.
Another Twitter user wrote:
Imagine the whole world singing like this from their houses. No hate, no nothing. Just unified for once. Love this so much.
After China, Italy has been the country most severely impacted by the coronavirus outbreak, with cases confirmed in each of the 20 Italian regions and more than 15,000 infections, as BBC News reports.
The current nationwide lockdown in Italy has left almost 16 million people effectively quarantined, with almost all shops more or less closed, aside from supermarkets, pharmacies and those stocking food.
Citizens have been forbidden to gather in public, and all sporting events have been suspended nationwide. Schools and universities have been shut and will not open again until April 3.
In a TV address to citizens, Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said:
I thank you. I know you are changing your habits and making sacrifices and I know it is not easy. But all your sacrifices are offering a precious contribution to the country.
[…] Do not think you will be able to see a change tomorrow or the next few days. We’ll have to wait two weeks to see the impact of these measures. We need to stay calm, collected, careful and responsible.
Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio, however, said improvements are being seen in the first area of the outbreak after such measures were imposed, saying: ‘Italy was the first nation in Europe to be affected so badly. But I hope it also means that Italy is the first one to leave the emergency behind.’
It’s okay to not panic. LADbible and UNILAD’s aim with our Coronavirus campaign, Cutting Through, is to provide our community with facts and stories from the people who are either qualified to comment or have experienced first-hand the situation we’re facing. For more information from the World Health Organization on Coronavirus, click here.