#ClapBecauseWeCare: Thousands applaud essential workers during coronavirus outbreak

Thousands across Massachusetts stepped out onto their balconies and porches and reached out their windows at 7 p.m. Friday to applaud all essential workers risking their health for us during the coronavirus outbreak.

BOSTON — Thousands across Massachusetts stepped out onto their balconies and porches and reached out their windows at 7 p.m. Friday to applaud all essential workers risking their health for us during the coronavirus outbreak.

On their West End balcony, Boston residents, 9-year-old Gabriel Campbell and older sister Tajah Thomas, joined their neighbors, clapping and cheering for the health care workers, first responders, grocery store employees, public transit workers and all those on the front lines in uncertain times.

"They're doing a lot of things that a lot of us might not be brave enough to do," Thomas said. "But they're at the front lines of this entire thing, and they're really doing what we need them to do. And it’s admirable."

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The outpouring of support, coming together to say thanks while also observing social distancing advisories, is inspired by efforts shared in videos around the world on social media. South Boston resident Corey Dinopoulos helped organize the local #ClapBecauseWeCare event on social media.

“Whether they’re nurse anesthetists or bedside nurses or working in [emergency rooms], a lot of my friends are going in every day,” Dinopoulos said. “And I feel so bad for them, but I’m so proud that I’m A: friends with them and B: they’re just working their tails off.”

Jackie Blake, a nurse at Shriner's Hospital for Children was walking home Friday night when she heard the applause, unaware of what it was for until Boston 25 News informed her.

"It’s very emotional," Blake said. "It’s kind of like we're all doing our part in the ways that we can. And it's our job; we do it every day. But it's just really wonderful that people are being supportive right now at a time where we’re just scared."

Dinopoulos urges everyone to participate each Friday night at 7 p.m.

What may be a small gesture for just a few minutes could be the love some essential workers need to keep going.