Europeans in lockdown cheer for health workers from their balconies
Arij Limam

"We need everyone to motivate the nurses," shouts a French resident from his balcony in Paris.

Several countries across Europe are under lockdown or imposing strict curfews on citizens to stop the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus. 

While citizens have been urged to stay indoors and many employees are now working from home, workers in the healthcare sector continue with their jobs and are on the frontline in the fight against the virus. 

So, residents across Europe, from France to the Netherlands, to Croatia, have come up with a way to show their support for health workers – by collectively cheering and applauding on their balconies at 20:00 every night.

It started on 13 March in Spain as an appeal on social media to show support for the dedication of the Spanish healthcare workers. Now, it has become a national ritual.

Several other European countries have followed, sharing their own cheers and applause at 20:00 sharp for their health workers.

Balconies light up and cheers and applause ring out, in what has become a powerful show of unity and human spirit across the continent that is the epicenter of the virus.