VANCOUVER -- In a powerful display of appreciation, Vancouver's West End was filled with the sound of applause several nights this month.

Residents came out on their balconies at 7 p.m., including this Sunday, and clapped and cheered.

Why? It's a gesture of thanks for a group among the most affected by the COVID-19 outbreak: health-care workers.

Applause rang out from several balconies, and the sound echoed off the taller buildings in the area.

Other areas have made similar offerings, and elsewhere, those practicing physical distance used music as a way to reach out to their neighbours.

Videos from Italy show sing-alongs conducted from the balconies of those in quarantine to stop the spread of novel coronavirus.

In fact, balconies are playing a key role in combating feelings of isolation in Europe

They've become a local meeting spot for millions. In Denmark, a movie was screened in a courtyard, and in Paris, another round of applause for medical professionals.

Cheers, songs and applause have also been heard from balconies in cities including Madrid and Athens

Locally, Vancouver artists are among those offering free concerts online to keep fans feeling connected. is introducing a new series of uplifting stories as the world grapples with the COVID-19 pandemic.

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With video from CTV News Vancouver's Sheila Scott