During these times of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, there has been at least one positive change.
Many people are showing how much they care about each other.
They're doing it by clapping and banging pans each night at 7 p.m. to honor first responders, healthcare workers, and each other.
One Westchester resident is doing her part -- and then some.
Meet Rosemarie Castellano of New Rochelle.
Every night, she joins in the 7 p.m. cheer and pot banging and then pulls out a violin and stands on her balcony near Glen Island and plays a beautiful piece of music for all who want to stand and listen.
A lifelong New Rochelle resident, Castellano wanted a way to give back and having played the violin since she was in third-grade, decided to offer her "little bit of healing and hope" by playing an uplifting song for all to hear from their balconies or on her new Facebook page Balcony Ballads.
"This has warmed hearts, brought smiles to faces, and has energized my community to look forward to each new day," Castellano said. "I will continue to play a song until we are out of quarantine."
What she found was people wanting to connect and noticed what she might not have seen before:
- the woman singing along in the building across the courtyard,
- the young child sitting on his bike and peering up from the sidewalk,
- or the wave from her 100-year-old neighbor, in a bathrobe, listening from her balcony.
She also received smiles from strangers who enjoyed the performances and notes of gratitude from others.
Also a co-founding volunteer of the 20-year-old non-profit Songcatchers Afterschool Music Program, Castellano said there is much good in the area "despite these challenging times."
"I encourage everyone to share their gifts with the world, no matter how big or small," she said "I am so lucky to be able to share my gift nightly and my audience keeps growing. Music heals."
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