A mother in the UK was named and shamed on Facebook because she failed to participate in the weekly ‘clap for the NHS’.
Every Tuesday at 8pm in the United Kingdom, people emerge from their homes to applaud health workers for their role in fighting coronavirus.
The event has become a massive nationwide spectacle, with people cheering, banging pots and pans and even setting off fireworks.
However, when one woman was unable to take part, she was accused of “showing the street up.”
The mother described how she had a difficult time getting her young son to sleep and fell asleep herself before 8pm.
“A post went on our community Facebook group actually naming and shaming me. I was mortified,” she wrote on Mumsnet.
“The post said everyone else turned out and I showed the street up and if I can’t spend a minute showing my appreciation I don’t deserve to use the NHS if I or my family get ill.”
The mother said she tried to ignore the post but that it had upset her.
One NHS worker responded to the post by defending the mother.
“Just reply ‘sorry, didn’t think I should leave my vomiting child to clap’ to shame them back. Awful. I’m NHS, no-one in my street claps, including me,” said the health worker.
It’s unsurprising that people are now being publicly shamed for failing to display enough enthusiasm for the NHS.
As Theodore Dalrymple notes, the clapping bears the hallmark of how citizens and party members under Communist regimes were forced to feverishly applaud despots or face being labeled a dissident.
“It reminds me a little, in its tendency to get longer and louder and almost more hysterical, of the applause after a speech by Nicolae Ceausescu or other communist despot, in which everyone in the audience had to show himself as enthusiastic and the most enthusiastic applauder, and to continue applauding as long as someone else was applauding, for to be the first to stop might be taken as a sign of disloyalty and dissent from the official line,” wrote Dalrymple.
The author described the weekly clapathon as “emotionally kitsch,” opining, “There is often the implication that if you refrain from making it—and even worse if you actively refuse to make it—you are in some sense an enemy, in this case, of the people,” writes Dalrymple. “Whatever your inner conviction, it is safest to join in. By doing so you avoid drawing attention to yourself and you are assumed to think and feel like everyone else, which is always safest.”
As we highlighted yesterday, families of cancer victims, who are unable to access treatment because hospitals are devoted to COVID-19, also expressed their displeasure at health workers for spending time dancing for Tik Tok videos.
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