GENEVA — With most of us stuck in our homes as part of a social-distancing effort to reduce the number of people contracting COVID-19, many aren’t feeling so cheery these days.
However, amid all the doom and gloom are people out there going about their jobs to feed us, care for us, and make sure we have the necessities of life, maybe at their own peril.
The Geneva Women’s Assembly thinks these people deserve a cheer — a real cheer, every day at 6 p.m.
The assembly said it is calling on Genevans to join them in a “noise demonstration” to thank these people for keeping “our community together, healthy and strong,” similar to efforts in other parts of the world.
“‘Solidarity at Six’ is inspired by similar actions in Italy and France,” said Jodi Dean of the Geneva Women Assembly. “People go out on balconies and porches and blow horns, bang drums, clang pots and pans to tell all essential workers that they are not alone, that we all are grateful to them for all they do.”
The first of these “solidarity cheers” in Geneva is set for 6 p.m. Wednesday. The assembly wants Genevans to honk their horns or go to their porches and windows and make noise for five minutes “as a way of expressing appreciation to the nurses, doctors, cleaners, gas station workers, drivers, restaurant and bar workers, grocery and pharmacy workers and everyone else who is serving the community during the novel coronavirus pandemic.”
The Women’s Assembly said the “statewide requirement that all non-essential workers stay home is hard on everyone. Many people have lost not just their wages but their jobs. Household labor has increased substantially with children out of school and family members working from home.”
The assembly also noted that essential workers “face additional burdens of securing childcare while potentially putting themselves and their households at risk of exposure. The Geneva Women’s Assembly is organizing Solidarity at Six in order to help demonstrate how we are all in this together.”
Dean said Solidarity at Six is a way for Genevans “to feel a strong sense of community at a time when we are encouraged to practice social distancing and stay home as much as possible. With cancellations of religious services and sporting events, people lose the regular contact with others that sustains social life. Solidarity at Six provides a safe way to remind everyone of the power of community.”
The kids might like it too.
“I imagine Mom saying to little Jesse, ‘Get your classwork done and you can bang the pots today,’” said Penny Hankins, another member of the group.
“The stress that the coronavirus epidemic puts on frontline medical providers is enormous,” said City Councilor Laura Salamendra, also a member of the Women’s Assembly. “They didn’t sign up to do a job where there were not going to be enough masks, gloves, gowns and swabs, where cuts in hospital funds would mean not enough necessary beds and equipment for an overwhelming number of very sick patients. We have got to tell them that we’ve got their backs. Everyone in Geneva has to know that the way we stand together is to isolate, but we don’t have to be alone.”