The once nightly serenade of clapping and pot-banging that greeted nurses early in the pandemic has been brought back in streaming form by the Canadian Nurses Foundation.
Developed by Forsman & Bodenfors, “Claps that Count” is a “song” currently available on the streaming music services Spotify and Apple Music. It is a live recording of people clapping and cheering for nurses that was captured on a residential street in Toronto’s west end during the summer, when the nightly show of appreciation was commonplace.
Steve Whittingham, a copywriter with Forsman & Bodenfors, said that the objective is for the song to accrue at least 500,000 plays across the streaming services, which could mean potentially thousands of dollars in royalties for the CNF’s newly created COVID-19 fund.
“During the first few months of the pandemic, Canadians from coast to coast were coming out every evening to show support for healthcare workers on the frontline,” he said. “This emotional solidarity was certainly helpful, but there’s even more that could be done to support nurses who are literally risking their lives… For instance, making sure they’re financially supported too.”
Forsman & Bodenfors also created an online video to generate awareness of the song that is running across social channels and was shown at the CNF’s virtual Nightingale MaskerAide earlier this month.
Consisting of aerial footage of a residential neighbourhood, it asks viewers if they remember some of the hallmarks of 2020, from stockpiling toilet paper to zany Zoom backgrounds and our collective obsession with banana bread, to clapping for nurses, before enquiring “But why did the clapping stop when our nurses haven’t?”
According to the CNF, nurses continue to experience “excessive workload” and overtime hours as COVID-19 cases rise. According to a recent study from Statistics Canada, the average weekly overtime hours among nurses working overtime doubled from May 2019 to May 2020—from 4.3 hours to 8.3—among those 35-54.