They’ve done it in London and New York City, and now this Friday one is being organized in Boston: a collective round of applause for workers who are on the front lines of the coronavirus battle.
Everyone from Beacon Hill to the Berkshires can participate in #ClapBecauseWeCare. Here’s how: At 7 p.m. on Friday, open up a window, or stand in front of your house, and clap and whoop for five minutes as if J.D. Martinez just hit a home run in Fenway Park.
Organizers are hoping residents will cheer for the doctors, nurses, and first responders; the pharmacists and grocery workers, delivery drivers and postal employees, restaurateurs who have stayed open, and other essential personnel who are risking exposure to COVID-19 so everyone else can stay home and stay healthy.
“It’s important people on the front lines know how grateful we are,” said Corey Dinopoulos, a Boston community activist who is organizing the effort and is spreading the word on Facebook. “It will show the city and the world that we’re all in this together.”
Dinopoulos doesn’t want this to be a one-off thank you, but one that becomes a regular act of gratitude across the United States during the pandemic.
“It would be awesome if we did a Friday night cheer every week,” he said.
Videos posted online of collective claps around the world in other coronavirus hotspots have been inspiring and uplifting. Claps have taken place in the United States from Atlanta to Portland, Ore. and globally from Madrid to Istanbul to India.
On Friday night, New Yorkers took to their windows to applaud the health care workers, first responders, nurses, grocery store employees, truck drivers & many more who are stepping up to keep us safe during these unprecedented times. Thank you for all you do. 🧡#ClapBecauseWeCare pic.twitter.com/sStyFEeuAW— TODAY (@TODAYshow) March 28, 2020
Clapping is the latest example of how people can express an outpouring of support for each other in an age of social distancing and isolation.
When the virus first began to spread in Wuhan, China, in January, residents isolated at home lifted each other up by chanting “jia you” from their balconies and windows. The phrase means “add oil” and is a common cheer at sports games to tell a team to keep up the effort.
As the virus gripped Italy in early March, Italians took to singing from their windows to keep their spirits up, something Bostonians picked up on as local shutdown orders kept people home.
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Shirley Leung is a Business columnist. She can be reached at email@example.com.