Following the example of Italians under that country’s strict lockdown, applauding from their balconies in gratitude of medical staff and other volunteers working through to keep people safe, Belgium is to do the same.
At 20.00 this evening, all those who have spent the day inside – or even half the day, as the measures came into force at noon – are invited to step outside on the balcony, at the front door or even an open window, and join in a moment of applause for all those who are putting their own health and lives in jeopardy to deal with those who are infected.
A similar movement started in the Netherlands yesterday with the hashtag #applausvoordezorg, supported by minister-president Marc Rutte and by King Willem-Alexander and his family.
“The nurses, the doctors, the cleaners in health care, the volunteers, those who work in the supermarkets and everyone else who has a vital job, doing fantastic work. Great to see how the Netherlands is cheering them on. #applausvoordezorg,” Rutte tweeted.
Now the message is doing the rounds of social media in Belgium.
“Forward this to at least three people,” the message says. “Then we will come together at our windows on Wednesday at 20.00 to applaud our healthcare heroes. The applause is a sign of encouragement for all care workers, doctors, GPs and nurses in their battle against the virus and for our health. Let them see what they mean to us.”