Social media is one of those double edged swords to our society. In some ways it has been an amazing tool, connecting us in ways previously thought to be unimaginable. In other ways, it has created a cesspool of negative emotions that puts fuel on the fire of painful discourse.
Just look at some of the social media trends we have seen develop. The ALS Challenge had people pouring ice water on themselves to help spread the word on ALS. Then you have social media trends like the Tide Pod Challenge which had teens eating detergent. It can really go either way.
Currently the world is facing a pandemic of epic proportions with the Covid-19 virus. Healthcare workers are working around the clock to treat patients, which is why this latest social media trend might be the best thing to come out of the internet in a while. It is the Solidarity at 8 challenge.
It is hard to find the level of social support we need in times like this when we are all asked to socially isolate ourselves to stop the violent spread of Covid-19. Many of us are doing our part by staying home and voluntarily quarantining, but health care workers are not afforded this luxury. Just like soldiers in a war, healthcare professionals are on the front lines, working tirelessly.
That is where the #Solidarityat8 challenge comes in. It is a viral Twitter campaign that asked that Americans take some time at 8pm to stand on their porches and applaud healthcare workers - or show any other type of support via music, banging pots together, or any noise they can possibly make. It is a small gesture, but for health care worker morale, it could be a great thing.
While some people are not taking CDC warnings to social isolate, close to 80 million americans have been told to stay home to prevent the spread of Covid-19. It is important to remember our health care workers. One twitter user who is participating in the #Solidarityat8 challenge tweeted, “Thank you, everyone on the front lines of this #COVID19 fight. Healthcare workers, first responders who are in harm's way. Grocery workers, pharmacists and everyone stocking critical supplies. Thank you! Make some noise people!”
Another user tweeted, “At 8pm ET, my husband and I went on our front porch to clap & cheer healthcare professionals, first responders, scientists and truck drivers. Thank you to them and many more helpers.” If the challenge seems too loud and obnoxious for you or where you live, other users have participated by flashing lights to show their support.
The trend actually started abroad, according to one Twitter user, “Millions of people in several countries are making a habit of going to porches, balconies, or windows every night at 8 to applaud for health care workers. Join me in showing some #solidarityat8, starting tonight, and invite your neighbors to do the same!In Italy, where the death toll recently surpassed that in China, where the virus originated, residents have turned to singing.”
It may seem like such a small thing, but imagine after a long day of treacherous work, if you came home and knew you had the support of everyone around you. It would make the days go by a little easier. Remember, you don't need to make noise on your porch, but use the challenge as an opportunity to give thanks to the people with essential jobs at this time.