Thousands of people across Dubai took to their balconies and open windows tonight to clap and cheer in appreciation of the doctors, nurses and other health care workers who have been putting themselves at risk to keep us all safe amid the coronavirus outbreak.
From India to Italy, this new and uplifting trend has emerged, as people celebrate an audience that is probably too busy to listen.
In Dubai, residents clapped and cheered from the their balconies and some even rattled their pots and pans. The sound reverberated around the city's towers.
Dubai Marina residents were definitely the loudest:
But Bur Dubai joined in too:
It started here on Saturday, March 21, as the skies were alive with booming thunder, bright lightning, rain and hail. Despite the dismal weather, many residents went out onto their balconies to cheer.
Dubai Expat Community Facebook Group then put out a call to get a second round of group applause going at 8pm on Wednesday.
“It’s time for all UAE residents to applaud all doctors and medical staff for their tireless efforts in these critical times," a post shared on social media read. "Let’s be united in showing them our support.”
And unite they did. Here's some more:
There was also a showing in the UAE's capital, with residents of Abu Dhabi's Reem Island showing their support:
It's important to remember that all essential workers deserve support in these times: including the delivery drivers making sure people receive essential items, to people who have been tirelessly cleaning our streets and those working round-the-clock in supermarkets to keep the store shelves stocked (and clean).
As Fakhr-e-Alam, who captured some of the high-rise cheers in Dubai on Wednesday night pointed out, "let's keep doing such heart lifting things to keep everyone motivated."
Many cities across the world are doing the same sort of tributes. Across Europe, those hardest hit by the crisis are taking a minute each evening to come together in gratitude by singing, cheering and applauding. This is happening across Rome, Madrid, Paris, Athens and Amsterdam – to name just a few places.
In India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi encouraged citizens on Sunday to cheer for medical professionals and municipal staff from their balconies at 5pm as the Janata Curfew was put into effect.
Bollywood celebrities Amitabh Bachchan and Deepika Padukone joined in, as did Priyanka Chopra from her house in Los Angeles in a show of solidarity.
The same is happening in Canada, from Victoria to Vancouver, where at 7pm every night the streets of the city's West End neighbourhood comes alive with applause, coinciding with the shift change at nearby St Paul's hospital.
While the call for cheers in the UAE came from a Dubai community, organisers say they hope it will catch on nationwide.