• Marie Bateson

The Aplauso Colectivo

The aplauso colectivo is my favourite thing to come out of this lockdown so far. Every night, everyone opens their windows and applauds the health workers who are working so hard for us. It's wonderful to be a part of something so beautiful - the energy of all that community spirit lifts you like nothing else.

I also find it hilarious. Pre-lockdown, I'd pass my neighbours in the apartment complex and we'd give each other a smile or say, "Hola" but that was it. During the lockdown, we're standing on our balconies, gazing across the swimming pool at one another with tears in our eyes, hearts swelling with love for all humanity, clapping our little hands off to show gratitude and tell one another, "You're not alone; we're all in this together."

We had to fight for our aplauso colectivo, though. The first night, it was scheduled for 10pm. Daniel and I joined in, loved it, and I immediately decided that it would be worth trying to push the kids' bedtime back to later during this so that they could join in as well. Others must have had that same sentiment, because the next night, word spread that it was going to take place at 8pm instead so that the little ones could experience it.

Unfortunately, our apartment complex seemed to get a bit muddled with this time change as there was no one out at either 8pm or 10pm. As we're the very last building on Patacona beach, it can feel pretty remote out here - if our apartment complex wasn't going to do it, the most we could hope for would be a faint smattering of applause from some of the other buildings further down the beach. I decided this simply wouldn't do. I NEED the aplauso colectivo. So tonight, I told the family that we'd be getting out on our balcony at 8pm, and even if nobody else came out to theirs, we were still going to clap and cheer for all those nurses and doctors.

At 8pm on the dot, the four of us started clapping manically and whooping and hollering our heads off. And our neighbours didn't disappoint. Within thirty seconds or so, they came out in force - some even flashing their living room lights on and off to add a little disco flair to the experience. While our video isn't as impressive as some of the ones doing the rounds on social media, I'm so glad I have the moment recorded.

In other news, today we made puppets.

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