SOUTH LOOP — South Loop neighbors are posting up on balconies and in high-rise windows for nightly singalongs and breathtaking light shows to comfort each other as the city remains in coronavirus seclusion.
Promptly at 8 p.m. each night, the neighbors play an inspiring song, flashing lights and singing in unison to show support for first responders and medical workers. Called Solidarity at 8, the neighbors were inspired by Italians singing from their balconies united against the coronavirus.
Wednesday night’s singalong, to the tune of Gloria Gaynor’s “I Will Survive,” moved South Loop resident Joanna Klonsky to tears.
“I stood on my balcony and cried,” Klonsky said. “While we have to stay physically distant from each other right now to keep each other safe and to keep ourselves safe, we are all trying to find ways to feel connected and inspired.”
Klonsky, a political consultant, posted a video to Twitter and it soon went viral. It has been viewed more than 61,200 times in 12 hours.
Neighbors, spurred by the Hello South Loop Facebook page, started the tradition a few nights ago. Since then, it has since become “a full-fledged nightly ritual in the community.”
Klonsky said the coronavirus crisis has forced people to recognize how essential doctors, nurses and medical workers are to our society, which is why the Solidarity at 8 message has resonated with so many of her neighbors.
South Loop neighbors have also played Jon Bon Jovi’s “Living on Prayer” — part of a citywide effort that is believed to have originated in Rogers Park, Bill Wither’s “Lean on Me,” and Queen’s “We Are the Champions.”
RELATED: Chicago Singalong Of ‘Livin’ On A Prayer’ Unites Thousands In COVID-19 Seclusion — Including Jon Bon Jovi
South Loop resident Matt Ragas said more and more neighbors join in every night.
As “I Will Survive” played and the whistles and hollers of people rang out between the buildings, Ragas said that’s how it felt — like we will survive.
“It was a great reminder that we are all in this together. Chicago is a resilient place,” said Ragas, an associate professor at DePaul University.
People are physically disconnected right now, Ragas said, but something as simple as a song is unifying us.
“There’s something to be said for just getting out on your balcony and seeing other people from a distance who are all coming together for the same thing,” he said.
Check out more videos of Solidarity at 8 below:
Are your neighbors doing something inspiring to combat or lift spirts during the coronavirus crisis? Let us know: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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