Thanks to a viral Twitter campaign called #Solidarityat8, at 8 p.m. local time for the past few nights, Americans have opened their doors, stood on porches and made noise — some by applauding, others by banging pots and pans — to express their gratitude to health care workers.
While some 80 million people in the U.S. have been told to stay home, nurses, physicians and other health professionals are continuing to work, often risking their own exposure to COVID-19 due to shortages of protective gear.
“Thank you, everyone on the front lines of this #COVID19 fight," tweeted one #Solidarityat8 participant. "Healthcare workers, first responders who are in harm’s way. Grocery workers, pharmacists and everyone stocking critical supplies. Thank you! Make some noise people!”
“At 8pm ET, my husband and I went on our front porch to clap & cheer healthcare professionals, first responders, scientists & truck drivers!” wrote another. “Thank you to them and many more ‘helpers.’”
Some participants have gone with a quieter approach, flashing their lights.
As one Twitter user pointed out, the movement actually started abroad.
“Millions of people in several countries are making a habit of going to porches, balconies, or windows every night at 8 to applaud for health care workers,” he explained. “Join me in showing some #solidarityat8, starting tonight, and invite your neighbors to do the same!”
In Italy, where the death toll recently surpassed that in China, where the virus originated, residents have turned to singing.
One particular video from Siena shows a moving rendition of a traditional folk song.
In India, which also has strict movement restrictions in place, Prime Minister Narendra Modi asked residents to applaud and play instruments for health care workers on Sunday night.
“Thank you healthcare workers, first responders, supermarket employees, food service and utility workers, delivery drivers and everyone out there who is on the frontlines to keep everyone safe. We applaud you!!!” Diamond wrote.
And “Tonight Show” host Jimmy Fallon started his own version, called the “cowbell challenge,” which he announced Thursday on TODAY.
“I’ve been watching the clips you showed of everyone in Italy,” he told Savannah Guthrie via video chat. “On Friday … I want everyone to get your cowbell, get out a pot and pan … open a window, open a door. If you have a balcony, good for you. Let’s go, let’s make some noise and tell this virus to get away from us."
To participate in the viral trend, post a video of yourself or your family showing support for healthcare workers at 8 p.m. local time and share it online with the hashtag #Solidarityat8.