The creator of the “clap for carers” initiative has said the next nationwide round of applause for frontline workers, the 10th, should be the last one this year.
For nine weeks running, millions of Brits have taken part in the weekly tribute on Thursdays at 8pm to thank NHS staff battling the coronavirus pandemic.
Brits have gather on doorsteps, gardens, balconies and streets, playing instruments, whistling, cheers and banging drums in a show of support.
But creator, Annemarie Plas, from Streatham, says the event should come to an end next Thursday as she feels the message could become “negative”.
The 36-year-old yoga teacher said: “I think it’s good to have the last of the series next Thursday, because to have the most impact I think it is good to stop it at its peak.
“Without getting too political, I share some of the opinions that some people have about it becoming politicised.
“I think the narrative is starting to change and I don’t want the clap to be negative.
“A clap is something normal people can do, showing our appreciation.
“But the power is not with us. We can give them respect but we are not signing the cheque – that falls on another desk.”
Ms Plas may revive the clap in 2021 to mark a year since it started.
She had shared a post on Instagram urging people to #clapforourcarers – and it soon went viral. The royal family, the Prime Minister and celebrities joined in.
The 36-year-old stressed the clap was for medics but also pharmacists, dentists, supermarket workers and other key frontline workers.
But the Government’s decision, yesterday reversed, to charge overseas health and care staff for using the NHS has turned it into a political hot potato.
Mother-of-one Ms Plas said: “Stopping clapping doesn’t mean we are not still appreciating them. Some people will still want to carry on, so they should.
“But we will stop and show our support in other ways – there are other initiatives we can support.”
Please support your local paper by making a donation
Please make cheques payable to “MSI Media Limited” and send by post to South London Press, Unit 112, 160 Bromley Road, Catford, London SE6 2NZ
Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick has encouraged everyone in the country who can afford to do so to buy a newspaper, and told the Downing Street press briefing recently: “A free country needs a free press, and the newspapers of our country are under significant financial pressure”.
So if you have enjoyed reading this story, and if you can afford to do so, we would be so grateful if you can buy our newspaper or make a donation, which will allow us to continue to bring stories like this one to you both in print and online.