Grateful Thais applaud healthcare workers

From balconies, windows, porches, and streets, people in Thailand gave a public round of applause to the doctors, healthcare, and essential workers across the Kingdom who have been putting their lives on the line to care for those who are ill and to keep basic services functioning for the rest of us.

The Thailand ovation on the evening of March 30 was the latest in a series of demonstrations of gratitude by citizens across the world in appreciation of the sacrifice and dedication of medical personnel. Outpourings of support have taken place in cities such as New York, London, Madrid, Singapore, and others.

Although the clapping was supposed to last just five minutes, the cheering went on much longer in many places. The shared activity created a sense of solidarity among people who had been cooped up inside their homes.

People yelled and chanted “keep fighting” or “chaiyo (victory)” to urge on those on the front lines of the response to the pandemic. Some banged pots and pans, while a few blew horns or other instruments.

On social media, Thais posted video clips of the ovation, and hashtags such as #ClapBecauseWeCare and #ClapforOurCarers trended on Twitter and Facebook.

Some on social media have also been expressing support and appreciation for others who continue to provide the services they need while most people take shelter or choose to remain at home.

They include law enforcement, as local papers have reported that 27 policemen in Bangkok have tested positive for the virus. Food delivery workers, postal workers, ride-sharing drivers, and public transport workers have also been receiving gestures of thanks and respect.

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