The Symbolism of 7pm [cheer] in a (post) Covid-19 World

A visual interpretation of the meaning and symbolism of 7pm cheer for Covid-19 first responders during and post coronavirus pandemic

Silence Equals Death, so let’s make some noise,” I wrote in a 2012 interview with artist/activist Nancer LeMoins for A&U Magazine–America’s AIDS Magazine. [As I also mentioned in my June 2019 A&U cover story, the Silence = Death poster has been a symbol of “AIDS activism and AIDS activism history.” In recent years, it “has become a symbol of activism, in a much larger sense.”]

Today, July 7, 2020, (7/7), we remember the “noise” we used to make during the first part of this year and until quite recently, to thank Covid-19 first responders. It was the one and only moment in the entire day that we’d come out of our isolation and join our voices and hands (and whatever creative noise-creating devices we’d find handy) to cheer, holler and clap, make noise to show our appreciation for the first responders on the forefront of the fight against Covid19. Remember?

I believe that our 7pm cheer kept our spirits alive through the darkest months of Coronavirus pandemic. It helped us escape the darkness of our confinement, if only for a few moments, and allowed us to come together, to unite against the virus, in the best (yet limited) way possible.

Somehow, I miss that feeling and that moment. At times, it was the only hopeful few minutes in the entire day. Perhaps our collective 7pm cheer carries its own kind of symbolism beyond the pandemic defining it; and, in time, maybe it will claim its own (rightful) place in Covid-19 activism, in the fight against Coronavirus, and related history. Guess we’ll have to wait and see….

Today, on July 7, 2020 (7/7), here’s a seven-image slideshow (on Covid-19 7pm cheer background noise) to remind us of our collective 7pm cheer for Covid-19 first responders…because, after all, here’s always 7pm somewhere in the world, a moment in time with a redefined symbolism.

Perhaps 7pm will forever remain a moment to remember, in a year we’d like to erase from our lives. But there might be other moments and symbols only beginning to define Covid-19 activism. Many of them are captured in words and images.

Feel free to check out the Pandemic Archive Project which also includes some of my own Covid-19 inspired images.

Another remarkable resource is the upcoming Making Meaning in a Pandemic course offered by Canisius College of Arts & Science. It’s free and it provides inspiring, enlightening conversations about pandemics in general, and in particular the Coronavirus pandemic–including as it has inspired creative work (literature and visual art), our relationship with our furry friends, as well as our daily existence. So, check out this amazing course and source of inspiration and information. Not to be missed!

Be well and stay safe, and, as always, thanks for stopping by!

Alina Oswald

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