It’s certainly an odd spectacle; #clapforthenhs possesses just about the tact of several bollards in a row clapping for car crash awareness. The common bollard is placed sincerely to protect citizens and gazes nonchalantly over hundreds of fatal road incidents beyond its eye. This level of inertia from a blank-faced post is perhaps only mirrored by those individuals running the country - who once again are positioned to protect and yet often fall far, far below par. Take, for example, the neglect of our NHS. In 2017, the House of Commons played its part - as the line of said bollards. On the 28th of June, 313 Tory MPs and 10 DUP MPs voted against the amendment that would grant the NHS a pay rise. This depressing turn of events was followed by an uproar of cheers from the conservative party, who gleefully celebrated their victory. Now, in 2020, these same men and women are clapping for the same service they willfully neglected.

The clap chorus was first begun by Annemarie Plas, a Brixtonite inspired by a similar show in her home country, The Netherlands. Our feeds were subsequently waterlogged with hundreds of sweet videos of pots and pans and clapping hands, and the appreciative sobs of our brave, saint-like key workers. Every Thursday, I step out onto my doorstep as though crossing into another realm, only to be taunted by the tantalising contact with neighbours just metres away. This is a slightly sickening feeling.

However, as Ian McDonald, psychologist, states, labelling these carers as ‘saints’ strips them of the humanity required for their job - a profession which is no easy feat. This praise seems to justify their sacrifice or rationalise the ridiculous burden placed on the workers, reduces their struggle, and works as a sort of peer- pressure. On the 25th of March, an NHS nurse in her 20s was found unresponsive at Kings College, with the police treating it as a suicide. The immense pressure workers are placed under should not be validated by just clapping.

This begs the questions, what does the NHS deserve and what can we do locally? The answer certainly isn’t 100-year olds feeling forced to raise money as an individual by walking laps of his garden. The responsibility should not fall on working-class individuals donating to a government service. The NHS would be much better supported by a long term pay raise, one that has been withheld for many years now. As communities, the best we can do is follow government advice and spread the word. We can reshare, retweet, reblog, and repost infographics about funding and privatisation, creating powerful movements. Furthermore, we can sign the NHS supporters’ pledge, which you’ll find at the NHS support federation’s website. Primarily, we must continue as a nation to take action as best we can from the confines of our homes and have hope.