Bath teens create song to bind community together amid pandemic | #socialmedia | #children

Thomas Ferolano (from left), Isaac Ensel, and Isabel Strelneck wrote a song called “Dear Bath” in which they ask their community to wear a mask and social distance to mitigate the risk of spreading COVID-19. Photo courtesy of Isabel Strelneck

BATH — Three Morse High School juniors wrote a song in hopes of inspiring Bath residents to be kind to their neighbors and do their part to help their community in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.

In their song “Dear Bath,” Isabel Strelneck, Isaac Ensel and Thomas Ferolano, sing: “You gotta do this simple task, you just need six feet and a mask. It’s not fun, but at the end of the day it needs to be done.”

Ferolano, who moved to Bath from West Hartford, Connecticut, in July, said social distancing, though necessary, has made it difficult for him to stay connected to his loved ones.

“I’m a very social and loving person, so distancing myself from the people I love has been the most difficult part of all of this,” he said. “Making this song was our way to communicate how much we love our community.”

The students said they’re glad they’re able to see friends and teachers again now that they can go to school in-person a few days each week, but maintaining physical distance from others and wearing a mask have made it difficult to communicate.

“Showing your love is difficult now,” said Ensel. “You can’t give people a hug or even smile at someone. With a mask, it’s difficult to communicate with other people the way we could before.”

Despite the hardships, Strelneck, Ensel and Ferolano remind listeners that “we’re all in different ships, but in the same storm pulling together to find a new norm.”

The teenagers also filmed a music video for the song, which had over 3,000 views on YouTube in its first week. The music video shows the empty streets of downtown Bath because they thought “showing just how empty the streets are was an interesting point in history to mark,” said Strelneck.

The Morse High School students said they’ve always been interested in making music and videos, but the coronavirus pandemic gave them the time to explore their hobby when school moved online and sports and clubs grinded to a halt.

Strelneck and Ensel created their first music video in May, featuring music with rewritten lyrics to “Carry On,” a song by the band Fun. The video featured Strelneck, Ensel and their friends showing how their lives had changed as a result of the pandemic. Positive reaction that video motivated them to write their own song.

“Our ‘Carry On’ video was based on what it’s like to be a teenager now, but this video was about how we can come together to help one another,” said Strelneck.

“We wanted to show our love of Bath and continue the ‘Carry On’ message,” said Ensel. “We know times are hard, but if we support one another, we’re going to get through this.”

After their “Carry On” video was finished, Sally Johnstone, vice president of the Main Street Bath board, asked the teens to create a public service announcement that enforced the message of For the Love of Bath, a social media campaign city representatives created to encourage residents to be kind, shop local and wear a mask when in public. She said she gave the students artistic freedom, and said she’s pleased with what they created.

“I’m so proud of the work they’ve done,” said Johnstone. “It promotes this attitude of ‘we’re in this together’ and everyone really is doing the best we can, and being kind is really important.”

The song even drew the attention from Dr. Nirav Shah, director of the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention, who retweeted the video on Sept. 18, saying, “here’s another excellent PSA from folks in Bath, Maine.”

The song concludes: “The pandemic and our lives have created such an eclipse, but when the sun comes out we stand as the City of Ships.”

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