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Image / Editorial

WATCH: This powerful video highlights role of immigrant frontline workers during coronavirus outbreak

by Katie Byrne
16th Apr 2020

This viral video celebrates the crucial role that workers from ethnic minority backgrounds are playing during the pandemic 

Frontline workers across the UK have come together to recite a moving poem that highlights the role workers from immigrant and ethnic minority backgrounds are playing during the pandemic.

‘You Clap For Me Now’, which refers to the round of applause for NHS workers that takes place across the UK every Thursday, reminds us that many of the key workers we’re now celebrating have previously experienced discrimination.

The poem was written by Darren Smith, an illustrator and content director at The Bridge Studio. His colleague, creative director Sachini Imbuldeniya, suggested they turn it into a short film, featuring shop keepers, doctors, delivery drivers, nurses, teachers and social workers.

The video quickly went viral and has since been watched almost 8 million times after it went live earlier this week.

Read the poem in its entirety here, and watch the video below.

You Clap For Me Now
So, it’s finally happened,
That thing you were afraid of,
Something’s come from overseas,
And taken your jobs,
Made it unsafe to walk the streets,
Kept you trapped in your home.
A dirty disease,
Your proud nation, gone.
But not me. Or me.
Or me. Or me.
No, you clap for me now.
You cheer as I toil,
Bringing food to your family,
Bringing food from your soil.
Propping up your hospitals,
Not some foreign invader.
Delivery driver. Teacher. Life saver.
Don’t say ‘go home’,
Don’t say ‘not here’,
You know how it feels for home to be a prison,
You know how it feels to live in fear.
So you clap for me now.
All this love you are bringing,
But don’t forget when it’s no longer quiet,
Don’t forget when you can no longer hear the birds singing,
Or see clear waters, that I crossed for you,
To make lives filled with peace,
And bring peace to your life too.
Come all you Gretas,
You Malalas,
You immigrants,
See what we have learned.
It only takes the smallest thing,
To change the world.


Read more: IMAGE Unsung Heroes: the forgotten frontline workers we want to recognise

Read more: Meet the Botox doctors working on the Covid-19 frontline

Read more: WATCH: These #ClapForOurCarers videos will make you cry