PARIS—At a time of isolation, people in many European cities hit hard by the CCP virus are taking at least a minute each night to come together in gratitude.
The Epoch Times refers to the novel coronavirus as the CCP virus because the Chinese Communist Party’s coverup and mishandling allowed the virus to spread throughout China and create a global pandemic.
They stand at open windows or on balconies in Rome, Madrid, Paris, Athens, and Amsterdam, singing, cheering, and applauding even though they know their intended audience is too busy to listen.
The adulation is for the doctors, nurses, and other health care workers putting themselves at risk on the front lines of the pandemic that is forcing most residents to stay home. A 52-year-old nurse on March 19 became the first medical professional in Spain to die from COVID-19.
The Epoch Times refers to the novel coronavirus, which causes the disease COVID-19, as the CCP virus because the Chinese Communist Party’s mismanagement allowed the virus to spread throughout China and create a global pandemic.
In Italy, where the number of virus-related deaths surpassed those in China, 2,900 health care providers, or 10 percent of the country’s total, have been infected. Italian broadcasters regularly feature exhausted doctors and nurses begging people to stay home and expressing a sense of abandonment over inadequate protective gear.
Meanwhile, the Dutch health minister collapsed from exhaustion in the midst of a parliamentary session on March 18.
“We’re clapping tonight out of respect and to say thank you to all the health care workers in the Netherlands who are protecting us against this horrible coronavirus,” King Willem-Alexander said while observing the ritual late March 17 with his family at Palace Huis ten Bosch in The Hague.
The word spread mostly through the WhatsApp messaging service. In France, where the head of the national doctors’ federation picked up the virus from a diabetic patient, the call went out seemingly spontaneously by text messages hours after a nationwide lockdown went into effect March 17. Windows opened promptly at 8 p.m. local time then, and again on March 18.
“In this period of crisis, we are going to see the most beautiful things humanity has to offer, but also perhaps the darkest,” French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said.
In Brussels and other cities, the intended audience for the nightly chorus of thanks was expanded to everyone working to keep essential services running in Belgium, such as firefighters, supermarket workers, and trash collectors.
In Spain, people are singing Mónica Naranjo’s popular cover of the disco-era tune, “I Will Survive,” with the lyrics tweaked to say, “I will survive/I’ll look for a home/Among the rubble of my loneliness/Strange paradise/Where you are missed.”
Workers at one hospital responded with a video recorded in the facility’s corridors. Standing in a small group and wearing masks, they held up one sign after another with messages that included, “We are all in this together.”
Then, they gave a minute of applause for their home-bound admirers.
By Lori Hinnant. The Epoch Times contributed to this report.