As hospitals in New York City grew overwhelmed with coronavirus patients earlier this spring, New Yorkers began a daily ritual. They stood on their porch steps, their balconies, their sidewalks and clapped, sang and played music at 7 p.m. when hospital workers changed shifts. They shouted, “Thank you!” through the echoing high-rises of Manhattan. Some of those appreciation rituals continue today.
Peter Marks, theater critic for the Washington Post, in an April column described the outpouring as an ovation: “The tumultuous reception accorded the hospital workers, though, is no cry of despair. It is an impromptu curtain call, of multitudinous thank-yous, from a vast audience rooting for everyday heroes. It’s New Yorkers joining in a chorus, singing out in solidarity: ‘We are here.’”