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Playing to the balcony: Clowns entertain German seniors in COVID-19 isolation

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BERLIN: 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.

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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.

Circus clown Noriko Seki performs for seniors at their retirement home in Jueterbog, south of Berlin, Germany, Apr 7, 2020. (Photo: Reuters/Fabrizio Bensch)

"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."

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