Friday 20 March 2020
A man waves from his balcony as part of a flash mob "An applause for Italy" at the Garbatella district in Rome. Photo Tiziana FABI / AFP

What started as an idea in social media has gathered pace and caused a global sensation, especially in Europe. People are paying tribute to COVID-19 healthcare professionals for putting their lives at risk to help save the rest of us. On that note, check out the best bits of support shown to our frontline medical personnel.



Italy is the worst-hit European country for the COVID-19 pandemic, with over 41,000 cases reported. However, Italians joined forces last weekend to sing together from windows and balconies and applaud their medical professionals. Fueled by social media, hand painted banners proclaiming “Andra tutto bene” (“Everything will be alright”) and “io resto a casa” (“I’m staying at home”) also appeared hanging from windows and balconies in several cities.



Similarly, Spain has also terribly suffered from the virus, with over 17,000 cases reported. As a tribute to COVID-19 healthcare professionals, a call went out on social media, asking for all Spaniards, confined to their homes by the state of alarm, to come to their windows and show their thanks for healthcare personnel. As a result, several Spanish cities joined forces for a scheduled applause, including the likes of Madrid and Barcelona.

The Netherlands

The Dutch also followed up with Spain and Italy’s efforts. Residents took to their balconies and doorsteps to clap for health care workers who are putting themselves at risk to curb the rising tide of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. Additionally, although The Netherlands has not joined other European countries by enforcing a full public lockdown, schools, restaurants and bars are closed, while many residents are in self-isolation.


Portugal followed their fellow European countries with a joint effort to thank the frontline medical personnel. As a tribute to COVID-19 healthcare professionals, people went to balconies and windows for a nationwide standing ovation and applause. Meanwhile, efforts to combat the virus include the declaration of a state of emergency, until 2 April, putting a halt on all social and religious activities, as well as restricting public movements.

In other news, everyone’s favourite doctor, Dr Meridith Grey from Grey’s Anatomy, took to social media to express great respect for her real-life counterparts – the doctors and nurses who are currently facing the COVID-19 pandemic head on.

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Once again, a huge thank you to the frontline healthcare professionals who are battling it out. As for the rest of us, keep calm, practice good hygiene, and most importantly, stay home.