Atlanta community comes together to support healthcare workers


Courtesy of Mark Kuehnert

LIGHT UP THE NEIGHBORHOOD: Several houses in the Morningside/Lenox area displayed luminaries to show support for healthcare workers.

Lindsay Ruhl

Although the Atlanta community can’t physically come together, people across the city have come up with various ways to stay connected while supporting healthcare workers fighting COVID-19.

Every night at 8 p.m., residents in the Midtown area go out on their balconies to cheer and chant for the frontliners.

“I live right in the middle of the cheering, and it really is inspiring,” sophomore Cassie Maggard said. “It’s important to support the people working to save lives.”

The support from the city has helped doctors deal with the hardships that occur when working against the coronavirus.

Katelyn Corridon, doctor of physical therapy at Emory Hospital, heard about the cheering through social media.

“[The cheering] made me so proud to be part of the healthcare field, and even though they weren’t directly cheering for ‘me,’ I still felt so appreciated,” Corridon said. “It was amazing to see everyone out on their balconies and in cars flashing their lights and cheering, and it made me tear up a little!”

People don’t just wait until night to show their appreciation for the healthcare workers. 

“I’ve been thanked in the grocery store on the handful of occasions that I’ve been while still in my scrubs and have felt immeasurably appreciated,” Corridon said. “The community has been absolutely incredible!” 

The residents hope that their actions help support and show how grateful they are for the hard work healthcare workers have done.

“I really hope the healthcare workers feel the recognition they deserve,” Maggard said. “We just really want to thank them during this time.” 

Community members have also started tying white ribbons around trees and mailboxes to show support for frontliners.

Lindsay Ruhl
A BIG THANK YOU: Neighborhoods across Atlanta tie white ribbons around trees to show appreciation for healthcare workers.

“I hope that in some small way healthcare workers will be encouraged on their way to and from work when they see the ribbons around the neighborhood and be reminded how much they are appreciated,” said Jocelyn Challas, resident of Virginia-Highland neighborhood.

Neighborhoods have also displayed luminaries around their houses to show support for the people still working during this pandemic.

“To me, [the luminaries] represent hope and guiding lights as we move forward,” said Phyllis Wingo, board member of the Morningside-Lenox Park Association (MLPA).

At night, the luminaries are bright and shine as gratitude for the people working during this time.

“During this historic pandemic, we are all indebted to the essential workers,” Wingo said. “These individuals risk their own lives and health and that of their families’ every day to perform jobs now designated as essential.”

The main goal of all these signs of support is to show respect and recognize the hard work for all kinds of healthcare workers.

“As a physical therapist, our role in the hospital is not often recognized or even known,” Corridon said. “And through this pandemic, I’ve had strangers, acquaintances, and close friends even taking time to learn about what I and all of the other healthcare providers do on a daily basis to help our patients heal.”