Greeks Applaud Healthcare Workers from their Balconies

Coming together to create a sense of community from the safety of apartment balconies has become a growing trend during the coronavirus pandemic.

The sound of an approaching storm was overpowered by cheers and applause in Athens on Sunday evening, as thousands of citizens stepped out onto their balconies and clapped to show their appreciation for the Greek healthcare professionals working tirelessly over the last few days to deal with the increase in workload due to the COVID-19 virus.

The same thing was simultaneously happening all over the country, from the villages and the islands – where summer homes have been opened by many looking for refuge from the crowds of the capital – to towns and cities. The act was inspired by a similar initiative in Madrid on Saturday.

Instagrammers using the hashtag #menoumespiti (#stayhome) shared the moment.

Greece has recorded 331 cases of the virus so far, with four deaths. Aside from dealing with the actual coronavirus patients, health workers also carry the burden of responding to the many people requesting advice on symptoms, and examining people at home, as officials request individuals self-isolate and only head to hospitals for emergencies.

The Greek government has sent a strong message to all citizens, and especially those belonging to vulnerable groups, to stay at home as much as possible until further notice. Shopping malls, restaurants (except for those offering delivery and take-away services), bars, cafes, museums and archeological sites all closed on Saturday, and will remain closed for the foreseeable future.

Additional measures have been implemented at supermarkets and other businesses that remain open, limiting the number of people allowed inside at any given time.

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