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Applause erupts from Midtown balconies every night as a 'thank you' to healthcare workers, first responders

They're cheering for the real heroes of our city this week: the doctors, nurses, grocery store clerks, restaurant workers, truck drivers, sanitation workers.

ATLANTA — It's been the sound heard 'round Midtown this week, and across social media, too.

Thousands of people in the heart of Atlanta have been taking to their balconies to join voices amid the coronavirus spread.

It’s happened every night at 8 p.m. - cheers erupting from the people inside their homes.

No, Freddie Freeman didn't hit a homer. Pity Martinez didn't score a goal. These aren't cheers for an Atlanta sports game.

They're cheering for the real heroes of our city this week: the doctors, nurses, grocery store clerks, restaurant workers, truck drivers, sanitation workers. All of those in our community on the front lines of the fight against the coronavirus.

It happens around the same time as shift change for healthcare workers.

Midtown resident Yatri Bhatia lives in Midtown and was one of the first people to get the idea rolling.

"Those three tall buildings? That's where it got really loud, starting Sunday," she told 11Alive, pointing out the buildings. "So, I just thought about posting on Next Door, and next thing you know, people are liking and sharing."

Bhatia said she was inspired by the performances of appreciation in Europe.

"I thought, 'why can't we do that here?' We have so many balconies," she explained. "You know, these first responders in America deserve it, as well, and I'd love to see some sort of community spirit."

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Dustin and Becca Frissell are two of the thousands sending out their support every night from several stories up.

"Every night, the sun sets, and everyone gets on their balcony and you know, it's ten minutes of people having a good time and cheering and supporting each other. It's been really cool to see," he said.

"A lot of healthcare providers have commented on the thread saying how it's brought tears to their eyes after a long day.

"If they can come home every evening and see some sort of recognition for what they do everyday, that's enough to me," explained Bhatia.

The idea is spreading - cheers could be heard from some Buckhead skyscrapers Thursday night.

"I feel like every night this week, the cheers have gotten louder and people are getting more into it, and it's lasting a little longer each night."

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Some apartment dwellers are getting noise complaints, but still finding a way to join in.

"They're turning off their lights and flashing their lights instead."

Any small sign of community to bring us all a little closer together, despite social distancing - and a big way to say "thanks."

"You know, in America, sometimes you can feel a little isolated, so it's really nice to see that we all are one country, one city, one ... you know, it's nice."

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