We have been out on the streets at 8pm every Thursday for 10 weeks now, clapping for carers. While it has been good to show our appreciation for those people who are working so hard to look after us, in very difficult circumstances, there is something about the ritual that makes me uncomfortable.
I suppose it is because it seems so inadequate. Earlier on in the crisis, when news about shortages of PPE was incessant, and now when the shocking facts about care homes are emerging, a clap seems so trivial compared to what was and is needed.
We face the grim and real prospect of a second wave of infections and deaths now lockdown is being eased. Is a clap enough? Does it feel like a pat on the back, or a slap in the face for the workers who are on the front line?
The woman who originally came up with the idea for the weekly clap has called for it to end. Annemarie Plas, who lives in south London, told PA Media: “I think it’s good to have the last of the series next Thursday, because to have the most impact, I think it is good to stop it at its peak”.
She added: “Without getting too political, I share some of the opinions that some people have about it becoming politicised. I think the narrative is starting to change, and I don’t want the clap to be negative”.
It is nice to come together with neighbours, and who wouldn’t want to congratulate and support our carers. But is the clap the right way to do that any more? What do carers themselves feel? I think I would be guided by you.
Image Credits: wefail.art .