On Wednesday evening, people in France – confined to their apartments for the second day in a row – leaned out their windows and applauded the country's health workers who were battling to save people infected with the novel coronavirus, COVID-10.
Coronavirus: les soignants applaudis aux fenêtres pic.twitter.com/TQvcvT2ac9
— BFMTV (@BFMTV) March 18, 2020
By now, window clapping had become somewhat of a tradition that had spread to several European countries struggling to stem the spread of the coronavirus.
But it was the first time it had really happened in France.
Just experienced my first 8p.m. balcony applause thanking healthcare, grocery store, transportation, and other workers. It led to a cross-balcony chat with my neighbor, an exchange of contact info, and hope that we can get through this together. #Confinementotal pic.twitter.com/8XslLljrlu
— Alison Sargent (@sargentali) March 18, 2020
Like in every country feeling the toll of the coronavirus, French health workers have been working extremely long hours over the past weeks.
— Michel Zeitouni, MD (@MichelZedBay) March 18, 2020
French people had been confined to their flats since noon on Tuesday, when the government's lockdown entered into effect.
— Fred (@FredBC77) March 18, 2020
Paris, Rennes, Marseille and Cannes – all over France people showed their gratitude to the country's health workers.
— Info France 2 (@infofrance2) March 18, 2020
The applause came as the coronavirus death toll had risen by 89 in just 24 hours, reaching a total of 264 people.
— Ingri Bergo (@ingribergo) March 18, 2020
The same night, France's national health director called on everyone who could to give blood and donate masks to the hospitals, to help with the increasing pressure on their already overworked staff.
One Parisian emergency physician posted a thank you-note on Twitter:
“A big thank you, your messages are moving. Help us by staying at home and taking care of yourselves.”
L équipe des urgences de Larib ‘ remercie les voisins du quartier pour leurs applaudissements . Un grand merci vos messages nous touchent . Aidez nous en t’étant bien chez vous et prenez soin de vous @HopLariboisiere @APHP @EuropSocEM @EusemY pic.twitter.com/Kbo55TjF9g
— Eric REVUE (@RevueEric) March 18, 2020