At 7 p.m. in New York and other cities, horns honk, sirens blare, and pots and pans clang a patchwork of gratitude that blankets the semi-muted cities and their medical personnel. Although they are guests of honor, the hoopla is a gift they didn’t ask for at a celebration they never wanted to attend. Their goal every day is to eradicate the virus, rendering the nightly celebrations unnecessary. But for now, working long, hard hours in a city not often known for its effusive praise, they soak it all in.
“Hearing the seven o'clock cheer is really overwhelming,” said Madeline Arena ’13, DPT ’15, a physical therapist in Manhattan. “Sometimes I just stand in my window and cry because I'm shocked at how much people appreciate what we're doing, and sometimes I don't even have to go to the window. It's super loud. People are outside dinging cowbells and banging pots and pans and yelling. There's this guy that rides his bicycle down the street blowing a trumpet. It's craziness, but it's all appreciation.”