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What N.Y.C. Sounds Like Every Night at 7

For many New Yorkers, the time of coronavirus will be defined by two sounds. One is the ambulance siren, shrieking at all hours through deserted streets. The other is its opposite: the nightly 7 o’clock cheer for front-line workers.

Some of the tweets that follow have been edited and condensed.

Video from Elizabeth Waters, Upper East Side, via Twitter

“Yes! The ambulances were even louder and more constant today, so we were, too.”

Joanna Dreifus, Upper East Side, via Twitter. April 3 at 7:08 p.m.

“Probably the loudest cheering night so far.”

Abe Rothstein, Gramercy, via Twitter. April 5 at 7:41 p.m.

The collective cheering ritual started in Wuhan, China, in January and spread across the globe in the virus’s wake. Here, it is sometimes accompanied by the song “New York, New York.”

Video from John Splithoff, Upper West Side, via Twitter

“Nightly clap fest at my bldg. Tonight they played ‘New York, New York’ + everyone made noise. Nothing is more fashionable right now than supporting our medical workers as they fight coronavirus.”

Ellen Azaria, Upper West Side, via Twitter. March 31 at 7:38 p.m.

In a city where the instinct to gather in crowds has been thwarted by the virus, the cheering that began in late March gives people — from their separate windows, terraces, fire escapes, stoops and rooftops — a way to connect.

Video from Liam Stack, Hell’s Kitchen, via Twitter


Aaron Vazquez, East Village, via Twitter. April 1 at 7:38 p.m.

Each night, it begins with a few claps, building to a standing ovation for the hundreds of thousands of people saving lives and keeping the city running: health care providers, emergency medical workers, grocery workers, delivery riders.

Video from Derek Norman, Inwood, via Twitter


Some of the loudest cheering is on Manhattan’s East Side, home to several big hospitals. Car horns, air horns, pots and pans, and hoots and shouts make a two-minute symphony.

Video from Rajpreet Heir, Upper East Side, via Twitter

“Amazing sight to see. NYC came together tonight at 7pm.”

Vincent Nienstedt, Lenox Hill, via Twitter. April 2 at 8:34 p.m.

On the West Side, members of the National Guard, who were in town to help set up a hospital inside a convention center, turned to acknowledge the cheers.

Video from Edgar Sandoval, Hell’s Kitchen, via Twitter

“To the man on the UWS who screamed ‘I love New York’ over and over again: u have impressive lungs, sir.”

Stephanie Gillis Jean, Upper West Side, via Twitter. April 2 at 7:32 p.m.

For one nurse, Oswaldo Luciano, the cheers bring strong emotions: “I avoid being out on the street at 7 p.m.,” he said, “because if on my walk home I would hear all that cheering, I would break down and cry.”

Video from Eileen Lehpamer, Upper East Side, via Twitter


Produced by Derek M. Norman, Iman Stevenson and Meghan Louttit

Cover video from Chris Tuttle, Chelsea, via Twitter