NEW YORK -- At exactly 7 p.m. on Friday evening, thousands of New Yorkers in quarantine stood on their porches and near their windows to applaud first responders and health care workers on the frontlines of the coronavirus outbreak.
This powerful act of solidarity, which lasted several minutes, came about after a call on social media to #clapbecausewecare.
"That gave me chills!" Chris Henken, who recorded video of the applause, tweeted.
Accounting for nearly a quarter of the nation's COVID-19 cases, New York City is battling to keep its hospitals from being overwhelmed. Health care workers are already facing overcrowded emergency rooms, and a nurse recently died from coronavirus after working nonstop for weeks at a hospital
The virus is also taking a toll on the New York City Police Department. More than 500 NYPD personnel have come down with COVID-19, including 442 officers, and two employees have died.
Also included in the umbrella of essential workers are sanitation crews, grocery store workers, delivery drivers and more.
Powerful video shows thousands of quarantined New Yorkers clapping for essential workers
New Yorkers across all 5 boroughs applauded first responders, health care workers and other essential workers