Circus clown performs for seniors at their retirement home in Jueterbog, south of Berlin, Germany. Fabrizio Bensch/Reuters
A group of clowns who usually entertain retirees in their rooms at seniors homes has taken to performing outside instead so their audience can watch from their windows or balconies while in coronavirus-enforced isolation.
The clowns were determined that the seniors not be deprived of laughter by the virus, which has meant they cannot receive visitors or even go to their communal dining rooms to eat.
So the group from "Laughing Helps", an association of "clinical clowns" who entertain people under medical and nursing care, started performing in courtyards outside the seniors' rooms - at an appropriate distance from each other.
"We don't want to leave them alone," said Tanja Selmer, alias Tiffy the Clown. "We thought, 'what could we do?' How could we give them a moment of joy nonetheless? Then we got the idea to just do it outdoors."
"We'll go in front of the balcony ... they can see us and we can bring them closer despite the distance."Reuters
German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas has been outspoken about the global handling of the crisis, criticizing the US for being slow and China as authoritarian. The pandemic has spread to 214 countries, with 1.6 million infections and 106,000 deaths.
The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany increased by 342 to 174,697, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed on Monday. The tally showed deaths rose by 21 to 7,935.
With the worldwide death toll past 310,000 and the global economy reeling from the vast damage caused by lockdowns, the reopenings in some of the hardest-hit countries provided much-needed relief from the pandemic.
Europe's largest economy is facing its most severe recession since World War Two as measures to prevent the disease have hampered public life and business. Early indicators show that the situation will likely remain difficult over the next months, the ministry said.
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