Italians sing out from balconies during coronavirus lockdown

1 / 7
People wave and clap their hands, during a flash mob "Un applauso per l'Italia" (An applause for Italy) at the Garbatella district in Rome on March 14, 2020. (AFP)
2 / 7
A family applaud from their balcony during a call on social media to thank Spanish medical staff fighting against coronavirus as they remain confined inside their homes due to the coronavirus outbreak, in downtown Ronda, southern Spain March 14, 2020. (REUTERS)
3 / 7
A boy plays the saxophone from a balcony during a flash mob to raise morale as Italian government continues restrictive movement measures to combat the coronavirus outbreak, in Milan, Italy March 14, 2020. (REUTERS)
4 / 7
A girl applauds from her balcony, in Milan, Italy, Saturday, March 14, 2020. (AP)
5 / 7
A man waves from his balcony as part of a flash mob "Un applauso per l'Italia" (An applause for Italy) at the Garbatella district in Rome on March 14, 2020, during the COVID-19 outbreak caused by the novel coronavirus. (AFP)
6 / 7
People clap their hands in appreciation for the efforts of Italian doctors and paramedics as they stand on their roof in Rome, Saturday, March 14, 2020. (AP)
7 / 7
A residents uses pot lids to play cymbals as she takes part in a music flash mob called "Look out from the window, Rome mine !" (Affacciati alla Finestra, Roma Mia !) aimed at liven up the city's silence during the new coronavirus lockdown, from her balcony in Rome on March 13, 2020. (AFP)
Short Url
Updated 15 March 2020

Italians sing out from balconies during coronavirus lockdown

  • Many people across the country went onto their balconies to offer a round of applause to the doctors and nurses working on the frontlines of the crisis

MILAN: Italians blocked in their homes by the coronavirus outbreak joined together to sing patriotic songs from their balconies, a defiant response to a crisis that has pushed the country’s health system to the limit and turned daily life on its head.
From Milan, near the northern epicenter of the crisis, to the capital Rome and Naples and Palermo in the south, social media showed people on their balconies or leaning from windows and singing the national anthem or popular songs over the past couple of days.
On Saturday at noon, many people across the country went onto their balconies to offer a round of applause to the doctors and nurses working on the frontlines of the crisis.
With the coronavirus pandemic spreading rapidly across the world, Italy is the worst affected country in Europe, with at least 17,660 cases and 1,266 deaths by Friday.
Italy’s hardest hit area remains the prosperous northern region of Lombardy around the financial capital Milan, but the virus has spread across the country.
The government has imposed an unprecedented lockdown, closing schools and most shops, barring all but essential movement and telling people to remain in their homes.
On social media, celebrities have urged people to stay at home and to wash their hands regularly.
Ordinary Italians have posted a flood of images showing life under lockdown, as well as jokes about the crisis and the difficulty of maintaining domestic harmony.
The government and leading public figures have also sought to reassure the public. Hashtags with encouraging messages like #allwillbewell have proliferated as authorities and individuals have tried to maintain a sense of optimism amid the shutdown. 


Couple run Dubai balcony marathon to beat coronavirus blues

Updated 29 March 2020

Couple run Dubai balcony marathon to beat coronavirus blues

  • The couple covered 42.2km by running more than 2,100 laps
  • The whole distance took them 5 hours, 9 minutes and 39 seconds

DUBAI: A South African couple who ran a marathon on the balcony of their Dubai apartment, streaming it online, plan to take the project global to help people shake off the coronavirus blues.

Collin Allin, 41, and wife Hilda covered the 42.2-kilometer distance by running more than 2,100 laps of their 20-meter long balcony from dawn on Saturday.

A stopwatch provided by the couple shows they covered the distance in five hours, nine minutes and 39 seconds.

“We did it ... #balconymarathon,” Allin said on Instagram, congratulating his wife on her first ever marathon and thanking the virtual crowd that cheered them on.

“Thank you for all the love and support for doing something silly... was great to have you all along for the ride,” he said.
The couple’s 10-year-old daughter Geena acted as race director, putting up signs marking “start” and “turn around” and providing her parents with water and snacks as well as inspirational music.

Allin said he planned to organize a “bigger, global and more inclusive run next” where people who are under lockdown but keen to stretch their legs can join for a few kilometers or more.
“This is about giving people something else to think about,” Allin told AFP. “It’s about getting people to connect, as everyone is worried about the impact of coronavirus.”
The pandemic has wiped out international sporting schedules and triggered lockdowns that have limited options for outdoor exercise in many countries, but enterprising people have found ways to fit in a workout.
Elisha Nochomovitz, a 32-year-old who lives near the French city of Toulouse, ran a marathon on his balcony which measures just seven meters.
He reportedly managed the feat in six hours and 48 minutes, nearly double his best marathon finish time.