Of Songs and Silence


Yesterday, Easter Sunday, I had the good fortune to watch Andrea Bocelli’s Music for Hope concert at Milan’s Duomo Cathedral. The broadcast began with a long shot of the Duomo, an exquisite structure which took nearly six centuries to complete.  The next scene showed Bocelli and organist Emanuele Vianelli – the sole occupants of the cathedral’s massive interior.

As Bocelli began to sing his heart out to the wounded people of Italy and of this COVID ravaged world, I felt goosebumps rise on my arms. His rendition of Amazing Grace was an otherworldly experience.

Italy Clamps Down On Public Events And Travel To Halt Spread Of Coronavirus

ROME, ITALY – MARCH 10: The area around the Arch of Constantine Antonio Masiello/Getty Images

What really shook me though was when the camera left Bocelli and panned around the world’s famous destinations  – all weirdly empty. A crumpled newspaper blows across the barren grounds of the Eiffel Tower. The stillness in Times Square is broken by the sight of one person crossing an intersection. This desolation in places ordinarily packed with people is spooky, and brings home the astounding ramifications of this pandemic.

Sometimes I sit in my home and find it hard to believe all this isolation is really necessary, but seeing the lengths we’ve gone to, to protect the citizens of the world reinforces the need for it all.

Hang in there my friends.