By Ed Karvoski Jr., Contributing Writer
Hudson – With workplaces and day care facilities closed during the coronavirus pandemic stay-at-home order, Nelson Santos shares with his wife Amanda the challenge of now working fulltime at their Hudson home while caring for their three young children. Additionally, he shares music videos as an administrator of the Facebook group known as “Music for a COVID-19 Quarantine.”
One of the first videos that he posted on the group page features their children – daughter-son twins Cora and Noah, 20 months, and son Owen, 5 – spontaneously dancing to Brazilian singer Gusttavo Lima’s upbeat song “Balada Boa,” which translates in English as “A Good Party.” (Scroll to the bottom of this article to see the video.)
According to Santos’ accompanying comment, “This group has brought joy and dance to our home. We swapped out story time for a dance party!”
The video starts with Cora and Noah jumping to the song’s lively beat. Then Cora lends a hand to her older brother Owen, coaxing him to dance together.
“In the video, you see our kids dancing and having a great time while outside in the world there’s now all this tragedy,” Santos relayed. “Being able to connect with family and friends online and to share stories is really important at this time.”
On the same day, another group member posted a video of the song “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” on which Santos tagged Amanda with the simple comment: “Our wedding song.”
The Facebook group was founded by Chris Cothran, a 2003 graduate of Hudson High School along with Santos. Now residing in Nantucket, Cothran asked Santos to invite friends to join the group, which now boasts over 1,500 members and counting.
“The whole premise of the group is that we’re all sheltering together and music is a fun way to enjoy our time when you can’t get out of the house,” Santos explained. “You can go there and read positive stories and listen to great music.”
Santos also shares humorous quarantine memories on his personal Facebook timeline. Among them is a photo of a young child’s outstretched fingers underneath a closed bathroom door.
“It’s tough to find a couple minutes of private time when you have three young kids,” Santos acknowledged. “I was getting stuff from the linen closet and they followed me all the way across the house. I went into the restroom, closed the door and then saw these little fingers under the door – I knew it was Noah.”
Noah is more visible in another posted photo, depicting an emergency room visit at UMass Memorial – Marlborough Hospital. While playing, Noah’s forehead hit a nightstand. Fortunately, Santos was prepared with protective safety goggles and a mask that were stored in their garage.
“Noah had a gash on his eyebrow and it was too deep for us to handle at home,” Santos recounted. “We were in and out of the hospital within 90 minutes.”
They left the hospital grateful for the attentiveness of healthcare workers to their child’s relatively mild injury compared to the coronavirus.
“You see it on the news, but it’s really eye-opening when you see all the beds lined up in the waiting room, and the nurses and doctors prepped for COVID-19,” Santos said.
He also views the family’s quarantine time with a positive perspective.
“We’re now more involved in our kids’ day-to-day activities,” he noted. “Normally, they go to day care and my wife and I go to work. Now, we actually go for a walk around the neighborhood with our kids in the middle of the day. The one good thing about what’s happening is that it’s giving us more of a family connection.”