In these socially distant times, it’s easy to feel disconnected from our fellow humans. Cooped up in our homes, we see the coronavirus pandemic playing out on the news and the toll it’s taking on healthcare workers at hospitals all over the world. How can we reach out to give thanks without, you know, physically reaching out?
In many places, the people who live near those hospitals are finding a way to offer support and gratitude as a crowd — all while still honoring stay-at-home orders.
In Atlanta, residents of high-rises in the Midtown neighborhood have been coming out onto their balconies every evening at 8 p.m. to cheer for workers at the nearby hospitals.
Local artist Dorri Buchholtz told Fox 5 she heard about the plan to offer thanks to staff at the area’s healthcare centers — which include Emory University Hospital Midtown, Grady Memorial Hospital, Atlanta Medical Center and Piedmont Hospital — on Nextdoor.
“I live in the heart of it and went out and we all started cheering,” she said. “People heard the noise and also came out and it just kind of took a life of its own.”
Hopefully, one of the hospitals has a shift change at that moment, and some of the workers are getting a little lift from the cheers.
Buchholtz tweeted a video on the fifth night in a row that the neighborhood came out to clap, whoop and ring bells for all of those workers on the front line of the pandemic.
— Dorri Buchholtz (@dorribuchholtz) March 27, 2020
In New York, which is the epicenter of the epidemic in the U.S. right now, people are offering thanks with cheers as well.
In this video from the Guardian, you can even see a man standing outside banging a wooden spoon on a pot to create a little more noise for the healthcare professionals in this hard-hit city.
People around the globe have been stepping out onto balconies and doorsteps to cheer for healthcare workers as well.
The Washington Post compiled clips from Vancouver to London to Naples to Istanbul and beyond showing our shared desire to offer our gratitude for those risking their lives to save others.
And spoiler alert: this video includes a clip of the adorable royal children — Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis — clapping together. (Little Prince Louis keeps looking back and forth between his brother and sister, which is just so cute.)
In Seattle, an early hotspot for COVID-19 in the U.S., residents are cheering at 8 p.m. as well. Mark Siano, the organizer of the event there, called Make a Joyful Noise, told Q13 Fox, “We really need to pay tribute to those who are risking their lives to keep us safe.”
But there’s another benefit to everyone coming together to cheer at the same time. Siano said, “It was just a wonderful way to be communal when you can’t see your neighbors.”
It’s nice to see such a positive outpouring of support right now!