By Saraana Jamraj
With social distancing and isolation more critical than ever to combat COVID-19, with various shelter-in-place orders in effect, people are finding creative ways to entertain themselves.
Italy made headlines for their balcony singing, and neighborhoods in South Florida have begun birthday parades, as a contactless form of celebrating while maintaining social distancing.
In Tamarac’s Westwood III community, the Phillips family set up a sound system in their driveway to sing and entertain their neighbors—without anyone needing to come too close.
Laur, her husband, Roy, and daughter Mindy Shields planned the temporary distraction from current events.
Together, they own Happy Times Entertainment, which provides live entertainment such as DJing and karaoke for events. A neighbor suggested they put their talents to use during the latest order.
“[We were] very well received and welcomed by the neighbors,” said Laura.
They performed on Sunday in their driveway while keeping a distance from any neighbors passing by. They also live-streamed the event on Facebook so that people could enjoy it from the comfort of their own homes.
For two hours, they performed popular hits that ranged from “Happy” by Pharell, “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrel, and “Romance” by Lady Gaga.
They reminded people that the stay-at-home order isn’t a punishment and that people aren’t stuck at home — but safe at home.
Now, they’re hoping to continue providing entertainment.
“We plan to do the same sometime over this weekend, with the day and time to be determine based on Friday’s projected weekend weather forecast,” said Laura Phillips.
- Saraana Selene Jamraj is a writer, activist, and a student pursuing her master's degree in mass communications at Florida International University.
She's currently the communications manager at The Salt Box in Parkland and has lived in Coral Springs since 2004.
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