By the time you're reading this you've already been stuck inside for days, maybe holding on to the last pieces of sanity as we move to our virtual worlds of work and study and distance ourselves from reality. Or at least, not the reality of normal life in which we are able to work, socialize, and roam freely. All due to a rapid pandemic that jolted our worlds, changed our plans, and impacted not only our wallets but our loved ones too. Before we could even really understand what was happening. Before we were able to prepare. Suddenly we were left to pick up the pieces of normal life and try to haphazardly glue them back together in a new way, and perhaps still are.
In what seems like an era of quarantine, however, we've picked up new skills, learned new things, and as best we can have tried to keep a schedule. We've reverted back to playing outside (something which the kids of the new decade have struggled to do pre-quarantine) and maybe have finally once again dusted off that old hobby we put on the shelf years ago. Whether alone in our quarantines or with family, roommates, or friends, we've had to learn how to maintain and pursue relationships. And it hasn't been easy in the slightest. Somehow things seem simple yet very complicated all at the same time.
These past few weeks, I've taken the time to reach out to individuals and ask them how they've been faring during this time and what they've been doing to keep themselves busy and happy. Of course, with my connections being mostly college students, the quick answer was Zoom University. But apart from the classes, many of us have turned to Tik Tok, Netflix, and other media types. We've also been reconnecting with family or loved ones, keeping up with our exercise routines, and taken up our old hobbies like painting. Some of us have stuck to schedules, while others have enjoyed the absence of one.
However, one thing I noticed when I asked each person was that each of us continued to listen to music despite the drastic changes in life. Music and lyrics have helped us not only to pass the time, but to help us keep our morale up during social distancing by providing a voice that understands and/or cheers us up.
More than this even, music has brought us together. One of the individuals I interviewed said that her best friend was a music major and she'd send recording of the songs she played, and that this act of sharing has been helping her get through this lonely time. Another example: an entire community's street in Italy opened their windows to together sing a famous folk song from their country, 'Canto della Verbena' ('And While Siena Sleeps').
Viva la nostra Siena - Quarantined Italians sing from balconies www.youtube.com
I hate to say it, but even Tik Tok music has brought us together. The point is, no matter where we are or under what circumstances, music has the power to create community. And that's exactly what we've been doing during the COVID-19 outbreak, regardless of social distancing. We've just had to get creative in doing so.
The famous singer Billy Joel captures it perfectly when he says: "I think music in itself is healing. It's an explosive expression of humanity. It's something we are all touched by. No matter what culture we're from, everyone loves music."
No matter the culture, no matter the circumstance, each of us can be connected through our love of music.
Therefore, I have put together a special playlist called the "Social Distancing Survival Playlist". It is a compilation of a variety of different songs that others like you have been listening to during their social distancing and that have given them peace or morale. While the playlist is of broad genre, and each of us has our different tastes, we are all in this together.
Here is the link to the playlist: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/0zms9llLQeuwu3XA...