Balconies Lighten the Load of Lockdown
Countries around the globe faced an unusual challenge recently with the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic and lockdown. Major economies shut down almost entirely, and people were forced to stay home for their safety. The world was facing one of the most challenging periods in world history. And while this situation was a struggle initially, it also sparked a whole new side of creativity for many around the globe. People took to their balconies to display art, music and creativity to entertain and lift the spirit of those around.
London Man Runs Half Marathon on Balcony
One particularly resourceful Londoner got creative and ran a half marathon on his balcony raising about £900 for a local charity. According to Sky News, the 27-year old Mr Hustler originally planned to participate in the London Landmarks Half Marathon on the 29th of March. But due to the ban on large gatherings, the organisers moved the race to a ‘virtual’ local landmark run instead. Participants now were required to run around their local area and send in photos of their local sights.
Just a few days before the race, Mr Hustler went into two weeks of self-isolation as his girlfriend started showing symptoms of the virus. Instead of giving up, Mr Hustler decided to run the marathon out on his four-metre-long east London balcony. Fuelled with his curated podcast and music list and continuous encouragement from his girlfriend, he managed to complete his half marathon in three hours and forty-five minutes.
South London Couple put on Easter Day Balcony Violin Concert for Neighbours
On another balcony in south London, an A&E doctor and her violinist husband treated their neighbours to an Easter day violin concert. The Daily Mail reported that the Stockwell couple played Vivaldi’s Spring, Oblivion by Astor Piazzolla and Csardas by Vittorio Monti to their awestruck drawing listeners in from balconies and windows around.
VE Day Celebrations with High Tea, Buntings and Balcony Concerts
Meanwhile, in balconies of the Wharfedale and Aireborough communities, VE Day was celebrated with high teas, bunting and balcony concerts. According to ilkleygazette.co.uk, a resident got out onto her balcony and serenaded her neighbours with her beautiful voice. This prompted the neighbours to step out into their balconies and cheer her on. A couple even took to dancing on the streets as she progressed with her balcony concert.
Milan Balcony Sing and Dance Alongs
And it was not just balconies in the UK that acted as a medium to bring people together while ensuring safety and social distance. Stories of such impromptu mass sing and dance-alongs poured in from all parts of the world. Neighbourhoods in Milan were ones who pioneered these as they were the first to go under complete lockdown. The New York Times reported that it started with the national anthem, followed by piano chords, violin serenades, trumpet blasts and clanging pots and pans. Soon different parts of the country followed suit. These balcony sessions helped keep the spirits high of hundred thousands of Italians in lockdown.
Weekly Balcony Dance Parties in Washington Heights, New York
In balconies on the other side of the globe, New Yorkers came together once a week to dance away their stress. According to abc7ny.com, Jim Shearer, a resident of Washington Heights, organised weekly dance parties for his neighbourhood. One Saturday, the former MTV VJ and current host on Sirius XM, dragged up his bass amp to his balcony and played his set for his neighbours after the nightly applause for the healthcare workers concluded.
This article was first featured in Insight Magazine, sign up to recieve your free copy quarterly!