My wife and I live in Geneva, Switzerland, and for the past two weeks, every evening at 9pm the citoyen gather on their balconies and windows to make some noise and applaud the key workers that are keeping our city running. Neighbors wave and smile at each other across the street, encouraging words are exchanged at a distance and help offered to those who can or should not go food shopping themselves. Sometimes one of the neighbors turns up her stereo and, isolated but together, we listen to her choice of feel-good tunes while, on occasion, an instrument is played. Then I watch an entirely empty tram passing on the main street one block up from our balcony which is running to schedule even if I have not seen more than two or three people on any of them for a fortnight. It is a surreal but also a most humane experience as stripped of the high paced busyness of our normal lives we may see more clearly some of the things that matter most to us.
This article was originally written as a linkedIn article and posted in April 2020 at the height of the Covid-19 Pandemic.