Healthcare workers around the globe have put their lives on the line to battle against the coronavirus pandemic. To honor their courage and sense of duty, Brazil put on a moving tribute on Easter Sunday. For the occasion, Christ the Redeemer was illuminated with images of healthcare workers and, at one point, was even “dressed” as a doctor. Words of thanks for these hospital heroes were also included and shown in different languages to reinforce the global nature of the pandemic.
This is the second time that the monumental statue has been used to send a message about the coronavirus. In March, it was illuminated with the flags of countries affected by the spread of COVID-19. Brazil currently has 22,169 cases, according to WHO, and over 1,200 deaths caused by the coronavirus. Still, as cases in the country continue to rise, there have been mixed messages from the country's leadership. While President Bolsonaro has been downplaying the risks of the crisis, the head of the public health ministry has been advising people to stay home and not congregate in large groups.
In fact, a clear message in Portuguese was displayed across Christ the Redeemer—Fique Em Casa (translation: Stay Home). Still, while warning people to be cautious, Sunday's event was also about uniting the world with hope during this time of crisis. The smiling faces of the men and women on the front lines who flashed across the statue are a reminder to keep vigilant in abiding by the restrictions put in place. As these professionals fight for the lives of our loved ones—and are often their only outside contact in their days spent fighting the novel disease—it's the least we can do.
Brazil's show of gratitude is just the latest in many tributes that have been taking place. In Spain, Italy, the United States, and the UK, people have coordinated efforts to thank healthcare workers at certain times of day with public applause. In Los Angeles, several restaurants have stepped up to donate meals to hospital workers. And in Connecticut, local firefighters, police officers and EMTs got together and formed a tribute train by sounding their sirens in front of hospitals as a sign of solidarity. Even individuals are getting in on the action. For instance, one 13-year-old Boy Scout is using his 3D printer to create ear guards to help reduce the pain medical workers feel when wearing masks for long periods of time.