On every street in every city, the people clapped and cheered and banged their pots and pans and came together for the first time. They hooted and whooped and hollered, with their dressing gowns tied tight, and waved across at neighbours from their balconies and gardens and front steps. The children stayed up late to wave their flags and parade their rainbows and feel part of something momentous. They sang and gave thanks to their friends on the frontline, the noble heroes of the nation, the overworked and the underpaid. They stood there and breathed it all in – the communal fear, the pride, the exhaustion, the gratitude, the overwhelming sense of community that they didn’t know they had. Some of them prayed and let tears fall because there was nothing else to do. They were humbled by the fanfares and fireworks and felt united in the darkness.