PORTLAND, Ore. — Did you hear your neighbors making a commotion in the street when the clock struck 7 the past couple nights?
They weren’t trying to scare off bears. They were showing appreciation for essential workers who are on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic and saving lives. From healthcare heroes and first responders to grocery store workers, service station employees, maintenance workers, delivery and truck drivers and more — they are all keeping us functioning.
A group called "Keep Portland Cool" started a Facebook event and word spread quickly. They saw people in Vancouver, British Columbia sharing in nightly noise-making to thank front-line workers and wanted to extend the observance to Portland.
They say: "Let’s make so much noise that essential workers hear our thanks in their hospitals, stores, homes and on the road!"
Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler also saw the movement spreading in other countries and cities around the world and started a city-wide campaign. He wrote a letter to Portlanders, urging everyone to make some noise to show their support and encouragement for essential workers.
"Let's boost the morale for all those who are struggling as well — a nightly reminder that no one is alone," Wheeler said.
Here's the drill: set your alarms for 7 p.m. each night, step outside in your backyard, balcony or front porch, or open a window, and make noise to cheer for our heroes in concert with your neighbors and the rest of the city. Grab a drum or trumpet, honk your horn, bang pots and pans, clap your hands, or just holler and whistle — whatever you feel called to do.
Record what you see and hear, post about it and use the hashtag #PDXThanksYou to spread the word.
The mayor wants the city to do this every night until the deadly impact of COVID-19 is a thing of the past.
"History will look back at this moment and see a community rise together and support each other in ways that seemed unimaginable even just a few weeks ago. Stay strong, Portland. We’ll get through this together," Wheeler said.