Police in Colombia’s second largest city, Medellin, are serenading locals to alleviate boredom during a quarantine that seeks to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
Armed with speakers and a repertoire of ballads, police toured the city on Tuesday to verify compliance with the mandatory confinement, but also to thank locals for their cooperation and to lift their spirits.
Con serenatas, la @PoliciaMedellin acompaña a quienes están aislados y en una patrulla recorren conjuntos residenciales para cantar con los vecinos que salen a balcones y ventanas. #VocesySonidos pic.twitter.com/IKwBxsf8u0
— BLU Antioquia (@BLUAntioquia) March 24, 2020
The Medellin Police Department’s strategy is a response to concerns over the psychological effects of almost three weeks of mandatory isolation.
Psychologist Santiago Herrera told public television network Telemedellin that this isolation could lead to disorientation, and feelings of melancholy and despair.
The psychologist recommended people maintain a certain routine to avoid a disruption of their normal day / night rhythm and to maintain social contact through the use of communication channels like Skype.
Meanwhile, the police serenaded locals in their attempt to break the monotony of being locked up all day in a city accustomed to outdoors activity.
The governor of the Antioquia province, of which Medellin is the capital, decreed a mandatory “quarantine for life” last week, ahead of the quarantine decreed on a national level by President Ivan Duque that took effect on Wednesday.
The measures seek to slow down the spreading of the pandemic in Colombia while the national government ramps up the country’s fragile healthcare system.