Grab the Kleenex, then hit play.

By Christina Oehler
March 20, 2020

News headlines this past week have been grim: a steady uptick in coronavirus cases, a free-falling stock market, hospital supply shortages, emptying supermarkets, and calls for social distancing to help fight a pandemic with no end in sight.

Needless to say, we could all use a little positivity right now. Some pretty incredible people out there are doing things to take our minds off COVID-19 and smile—and Nashville musician and teacher David DeLoach is one of those people.

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On March 16, DeLoach's daughter, Jenny DeLoach, shared a few photos on Twitter of her father standing outside the Harmony at Brentwood senior living facility, playing guitar for the nursing home's residents.

DeLoach's mother, Abbey, 86, lives is at the facility—but family members, including her son, are unable to visit her because of strict restrictions put in place to protect elderly residents from being exposed to coronavirus. So DeLoach got creative: while keeping a safe distance from the residents, he made sure they were able to enjoy his music from the comfort of their balconies.

"My grandma’s living facility is on lockdown; I went to drop off some things for her & found my dad serenading her & her friends on his guitar since he couldn’t come in to visit," Jenny wrote in her Tweet.

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Her sweet tweet went viral, receiving over 78K likes and over 9,000 retweets. Hundreds of people responded to her post, many thanking her for spreading some feel-goodness during a stressful week.

But DeLoach's good deed wasn't about popularity—he did it to bring cheer to homebound seniors.

"I have a speaker and microphone that I set up in a portable cart, so I figured why not stop over and give my mom and the other residents a little entertainment," DeLoach tells Health. "I was able to roll my cart around as I played, so all of the residents could hear as I performed."

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His playlist consisted of classic tunes, including "What a Wonderful World," "America the Beautiful," and Elvis Presley songs. His impromptu concert was such a hit, residents started clapping and singing along.

"A lot of them haven't been able to see their families because of the lockdown, so I think the music helped relieve some of their cabin fever," he says.

DeLoach frequently performs for homeless people in Nashville and volunteers with veterans living with PTSD by teaching them how to play guitar. He plans to continue to perform outside the senior facility throughout the coronavirus crisis to keep the residents entertained. He adds that at the end of the day, the important thing is using this time to connect and spread love in an atmosphere of fear.

"I’ve done nothing compared to what the healthcare workers are doing, but if I can just put a little seed of hope in the world, that’s what I’ll do,” he says.

The information in this story is accurate as of press time. However, as the situation surrounding COVID-19 continues to evolve, it's possible that some data have changed since publication. While Health is trying to keep our stories as up-to-date as possible, we also encourage readers to stay informed on news and recommendations for their own communities by using the CDCWHO, and their local public health department as resources.

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