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Strains of hope: Chilean nurse serenades COVID-19 patients with violin

SANTIAGO — When most Chilean nurses finish their long shifts caring for the country’s many COVID-19 patients, there is little else on their minds but seeing their families, eating and sleeping.

Not so Damaris Silva, who twice a week when she finishes her shift at 6 p.m. picks up her violin and returns to the ward.

Silva, 26, spends several hours walking the corridors of the Hospital El Pino, in the capital Santiago’s poor southern La Pintana neighborhood.

She plays a mix of popular Latin songs, bringing a moment of levity for both patients – some of whom have spent weeks in critical care – and exhausted colleagues.

“As soon as I walk in the patients brighten, they seem happier; they smile and applaud,” she told Reuters.

Her aim is, she says, to “give a little bit of love, of faith, of hope with my violin. Every time I do it, I do it from my heart.”

Her initiative is one of several dreamed up to lift spirits in Chilean intensive and critical care wards, which are at present close to saturation because of the new coronavirus pandemic.

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