Coronovirus challenge – Survival in high spirits

In the wake of social distancing, self isolation and quarantine, people all over the world have taken on the Coronavirus challenge in high spirits. From washing hands while singing the ‘Happy Birthday’ song to ‘Balcony singing in solidarity’, there is a growing chirpy movement to the coronavirus lockdown in many parts of the world.

Italy and Iran have been hit the worst outside of China, but the people in all these countries are trying everything to warm and elevate each other in this moment of crisis.

In January, the residents of Wuhan, China were seen shouting “Wuhan jiāyóu” meaning, “Wuhan, stay strong” out of their windows, from apartment building to apartment building, to send words of encouragement to fellow citizens, doctors and medical staff at the front lines of the battle. Now the residents of apartment buildings and blocks in Italy are continuing this encouragement, adapting to sing or play instruments from their balconies in a growing trend from Italy spreading across Europe to Spain. They also took to their windows and balconies to applaud medical staff fighting the coronavirus.

In Iran musicians have been circulating in streets to uplift people’s spirits. Iranian healthcare workers, doctors and nurses are also spreading joy with light-hearted dance performances.

“As Nowruz/Persian New Year gets closer & the death toll continues to rise in Iran, artists are encouraging everyone to “open your windows” & share poetry on windowsills to keep spirits up & celebrate the start of spring. The most Iranian way to cope!” tells Iranian American writer Hoda Katebi in a statement.

While keeping themselves safe and washing hands, people are keeping their bodies and minds active by creating new things and novel ways of entertaining oneself. Videos of residents in Spain sporting games across windows are circulating in social media.

Another video that has been recieved well by social media users is that of the ‘Quarantine Munch’ as a quirky way to effortlessly spend one’s time and have fun.

The threat of the coronavirus outbreak has led to social distancing in most countries in the world in order to slow the rate of infection. In these times of disruption of normal life and drastic changes, people are coping and connecting with each other by reaching out through these simple joys.

Fathima Shirin is an architecture graduate from Srinivas School of Architecture, Karnataka. Shirin writes on architecture, development and culture.

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