‘This little light of mine’: Harlem neighbors sing from doorsteps in support of health care workers

A group of neighbors in New York City’s Harlem raised their voices in unison to praise health care workers on the front lines of fighting the COVID-19 outbreak, singing together on their porches while adhering to social distancing guidelines. 

While still physically apart, the Harlem neighbors were closer than ever in spirit as one resident captured the incredible moment and posted a video on Twitter showing neighbors singing “This Little Light of Mine,” with one local keeping tempo with his tamboruine while others clapped and cheered. 

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“I got goosebumps while my block was singing together. Immediately afterwards we clapped for first responders,” @VictoriaCathryn wrote on Twitter.

New York City has seen devastating losses from the novel coronavirus with a surge in virus-related deaths now well above the number killed on 9/11. The state’s biggest one-day jump of 731 new recorded deaths happened on Wednesday, bringing the total death toll to nearly 5,500. 

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As the city’s health care system redoubled its efforts to contain the virus, residents and authorities alike have done what they can to raise spirits during a dark time. 

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo joined those showing moral support for health care workers, tweeting on April 5,  “Thank you to the hospital administrators and thank you especially & profusely to the frontline healthcare workers.”

The Empire State Building’s signature white lights were replaced on March 30 through the rest of the “COVID-19 battle” with the “heartbeat of America.” The building lights up nightly with rhythmic pulsing red lights while white and red lights circle the tower, mimicking a siren on an ambulance.

In other parts of the country besieged by COVID-19, residents are doing what they can to show support for those saving lives amid the pandemic.

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A hospital in St. Louis was showered with praise from residents who sent pizza and other food supplies as well as signs of encouragement and gratitude to the health care workers bravely fighting the state’s outbreak.

“The amount of generosity makes my heart full,” said Laura Weaver, ED nurse manager for SSM Health St. Mary’s Hospital. According to a spokesperson for the hospital, community members have even been putting up colorful signs saying “thank you” on the gates surrounding the facility.

In Atlanta, every night residents cooped up at home have cheered in unison in support of local medical staff. Even cities around the world have broken out into cheers for health care workers. In London, people stood outside their homes applauding for National Health Service workers.

Twitter user Harriet McMahon captured a video of hundreds of residents cheering loudly, captioning the video, “This was amazing.”