Italy has been under lockdown since March 9 in an attempt to stop the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus. The first lockdown measures were to restrict travel unless needed for work or emergencies, and all sports were canceled. On March 11, with more cases still being reported, Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte put in place stricter lockdown measures. The lockdown now includes all businesses except for pharmacies and grocery stores.
Since then, pictures of empty streets and famous monuments have shown the outside world the reality of life in a locked-down Italy. People are looking for ways to connect to others and avoid the loneliness of life in a lockdown. Videos of Italians on their balconies singing together and having musical concerts have gone viral.
Italians All Over the Country Are Participating in “Flashmob” Balcony Concerts
In this video from Bologna, one resident filmed his neighbor holding a violin concert on the balcony. The video has been viewed over 800,000 times on Twitter.
This video of singing in Siena has gone viral, with over 2 million views on Twitter. It’s a video of Italians singing a traditional folk song from their balconies.
This video has 1.75 million views on Twitter, and shows an older woman dancing on her balcony to music in Naples.
Taranto has also experienced this musical flashmob, with one resident filming the streets filled with singing.
A popular Italian song, Volare, was sung from residents of Rome. In the video, it’s possible to see people waving at each other from different balconies. The user who posted it wrote as a caption: “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.”
The Italian Foreign Minister Believes the Lockdown Will Be Effective
Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio told the BBC on March 12 that the lockdown measures put in place in the epicenter of the Italian outbreak are effective. He said the first 10 towns in lockdown in northern Italy have no new infections. Italy now has over 1,000 deaths and over 15,000 infections of COVID-19.
Di Maio also said in this interview that “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.”
Because the coronavirus outbreak is still surging in areas that weren’t initially locked down, it will be a couple of weeks before the lockdown impact is truly understood. Italy has one of the best healthcare systems in all of Europe but it is being stretched very thin. He said “We need oxygen units, and we have started production with factories that produce them or others that can adapt to start producing them. We’re in contact with countries across the world, many of them are willing to supply us with equipment.”