In one of a group of new videos released by the City of San Antonio, the enduringly energetic accordionist Santiago Jimenez Jr. sings in Spanish, “Everyone wash your hands so we can protect ourselves / From this cursed and real virus / We all have to do our part,” urging his fellow San Antonians to do what it takes to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus.
“Hazlo por San Antonio,” or “Do it for San Antonio,” Jimenez says in press materials announcing the bilingual campaign. “I want to sing for a crowd again.”
In his 30-second video, Jimenez performs alone in the empty Rosedale Park auditorium, reflecting a still-largely-silent live entertainment sector affected by the pandemic ban on large public gatherings.
Other local musicians involved in the campaign are Alyson Alonzo, Shelly Lares, Azul Barrientos, Michael Carrillo, and San Antonio Poet Laureate Andrea “Vocab” Sanderson. In the videos, each performer dons a crimson mask that reads, “Do it for SA.”
In clever and thoughtful lyrics, the performers urge observation of pandemic safety protocols including consistent use of face coverings, maintaining social distance, frequent hand-washing, and patience as case numbers and positivity rates surge around the country and edge up locally.
“Give it some time and give it some space because that’s what it takes,” Alonzo sings.
City Manager Erik Walsh cites the coming holiday season as a reason to remind everyone that “we all want life to return to normal, but we hope this campaign reminds the public how critical it is to work together to contain the spread of COVID-19.”
Sanderson, a vocal advocate of mask-wearing on her Facebook page, sings, “it takes a clear and pure focus, just to bring us through,” while also mentioning enduring hope for a cure.
“Before you put on your mask, ask yourself a question,” she asks in a dramatic whisper while standing on the Hays Street Bridge. “What will it take to keep us safe, to get back to normal?”
The 30-second videos debuted during a City Council meeting Thursday, and, according to a news release, will be included in an overall holiday-season campaign involving the City’s social media, radio, television, print advertising, and outreach efforts in areas that have been most impacted by the pandemic.