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After going on lockdown March 14th THIS happened. At first it was just here and there, at different times, but then it was decided that 8 pm was a good time for everybody. What happened was that at this time everyone in every barrio across the country would step out onto their balconies and applaud all the front line people who were out there every day making our live possible. Of course the very first front line is the hospital staff who put their lives at risk every day to take care of us, without proper personal protection and not nearly enough beds and equipment. But included in our applause are those who we now realise are more essential than we ever realised: rubbish collectors, police, firefighters, supermarket cashiers and stockers, street cleaners, pharmacists, food suppliers, delivery services, taxi drivers and those who are maintaining our water, electricity and internet connections. I’ve probably forgotten some, but we include them in our thanks every evening when we go outside and applaud.

The first couple of times I did this I thought, oh this is so cool! Then you know, you keep doing it. At one point I wondered if people would get tired of having to do this every day, and would they stop. Well okay, nobody HAS to do this. And yeah I missed the other night because I was so exhausted by EVERYTHING at 7.30 pm that I went to bed.

But you know what? I actually love it. And I hope we will always do it. Apparently videos taken of us are uploaded and sent to hospital staff and others to show them how much we appreciate them. The other nice thing is that now I know my neighbours from across the street and down the road. Now when I go out there we all wave to each other while clapping. The other day my across the street neighbours were out on their balcony and we had a chat, they said if I need anything at all, just to let them know.

Last night was the UKs first applause moment and my Twitter feed was full of people going “omg that was amazing, do you think it might become a weekly thing?”. Well I guess that depends. How often do you appreciate these people who are maintaining your lives, not to mention saving them? Is five minutes each day too much to ask? Also… it’s really lovely. Anyhow, I just got back from tonight’s edition, will be there mañana of course.

Are they doing something similar where you live?