Chilean musician serenades elderly parents to beat coronavirus blues


SANTIAGO (Reuters) – Chilean musician Gonzalo Acuna knew a hug was out of the question as coronavirus fears forced his elderly parents into self-isolation. So he turned instead to his accordion.

Every evening, Acuna, who hails from the central Chilean city of Hualpen, serenades his parents, who watch from behind the safety of their front window, dancing and laughing to the music.

Acuna, clad in a blue sweatshirt, wears a black face mask that does little to hide his smile beneath.

“I play them a little bit of music, I chat with them and we try to have a nice time together. It fills my heart and it makes them happy,” he says.

Chile has reported more than 1,600 cases of coronavirus, among the highest tallies in Latin America. The music is a potent antidote to the isolation that many elderly Chileans have voluntarily undertaken to stay healthy amid the outbreak.

“He works all day then he comes here. To me, that’s a gift from God,” said his mother.

Reporting by Reuters TV, writing by Dave Sherwood, Editing by Rosalba O’Brien