RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) – Decorated with full fire fighting equipment, Elielson Silva stands 150 feet above the ground on a ladder that can be pulled out of a red fire truck.
It sits majestically as high as the colossal Maracana Rio de Janeiro soccer stadium behind it. Silva faced a row of apartment buildings filled with Brazilians who were sheltering from new coronaviruses and watching from their windows and balconies.
He raised his silver trumpet to his lips and the tones soared towards his listeners, helping to put out the blues from being locked in their homes.
Silva plays songs that are known throughout Brazil, but especially those made in and about Rio. Conduct a more carefree era, the song tugging at the strings of their hearts: “Brazilian Watercolor,” “Samba Aircraft,” “Extraordinary Cities” and “I Know I Will Love You.”
“Everyone suffers from a pandemic and I am trying to improve the morale of the Rio population, so all these difficulties are reduced during this time,” said Silva, an 18-year veteran of the city’s fire brigade. “Bringing a little music, a little air, for these people means a lot to me as a musician and corps.”
Raised to a height of 200 feet, he has performed throughout the city. These include hot tourist spots that have recently been very quiet – such as Copacabana beach and the base of Sugarloaf Mountain – and Rocinha and Jacarepagua working class communities. On Sundays, he plays in three separate environments, always wearing a heavy fire-resistant jacket and firefighter helmet despite temperatures above 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
He drew cheers and clapped enthusiastically.
“Listening to all that music returns our desire to be in Rio, our sense of togetherness,” Renata Versiani said from the window sill, where she watched Silva play with her husband and daughter. “Initiatives like this remind us of who we are as a community. It’s nice to have a surprise like this. “
Versiani knows the emotional value of such a movement. He was a psychologist whose family, according to his story, had “given up” on the call to live in their home.
The Rio fire department was the frontline of the initial state government campaign to raise awareness about the need for people to isolate themselves and help control the spread of the virus. They patrol the city’s legendary beaches, play recordings urging beach visitors to go home, and talk to people walking on the streets.
Since the Rio governor imposed restrictions, firefighters were seen waving to the beach.
Brazil is in the midst of a battle over the effectiveness of isolation, with President Jair Bolsonaro rejecting the severity of the virus and openly aiming at governors for imposing a halt that he says could paralyze the economy. His public meeting with supporters defied instructions from the international health authority and his own health ministry.
Brazilians seem to be more accustomed to experts. A survey by polling firm Datafolha in the opening days of April found that 76% of Brazilians surveyed supported social isolation.
Silva tried hard to make social distance seem a little less distant.
In the Flamengo neighborhood in Rio, the sun illuminates his horn as he plays his final number – the Brazilian national anthem, then “Hallelujah.” Spectators who surrounded him began to clap with hands over his head when the telescope ladder was pointing down.
“Congratulations to these heroes,” Silva said, gesturing to the firefighters on the ground.
Then he put his hand on his heart, and took a simple bow.
While endless global news about the effects of coronavirus has become commonplace, so has the story of the goodness of strangers and individuals who have sacrificed for others. “One Good Thing” is an AP series that reflects this act of kindness.
to request modification Contact us at Here or [email protected]