April 25, 2020 / 4:18 PM / a month ago

Lisbon celebrates unsung 'superheroes' keeping city running under lockdown

LISBON (Reuters) - From garbage collectors to delivery drivers, the unsung heroes of Portugal’s coronavirus lockdown have been given a starring role in a video campaign recognising their superhuman role in keeping the capital city on its feet.

Launched by Lisbon’s Santo Antonio parish council on Friday, the video depicts often-overlooked workers going about their daily routines dressed up as their favourite superheroes, including Spider-Man and The Flash.

“The goal was to pay tribute to people who continue to work and continue to help those most in need,” Vasco Morgado, council president and the campaign’s mastermind, told Reuters on Saturday.

The video has already been watched by nearly 1,000 people on YouTube.

Morgado said the global pandemic is changing people’s perceptions of certain jobs, which might have gone unappreciated in the past but are now more important than ever.

“Today is indispensable to have someone delivering food or the newspaper because you cannot go out,” he said.

The local council has a total of 64 people working on a rotating basis doing all sorts of jobs, from picking up trash and maintaining the city’s gardens to distributing food to elderly people stuck home.

Dressed up as DC villain Harley Quinn, council worker Ines Gomes said the campaign made her feel appreciated and motivated to continue to work through tough times. “It was a great initiative,” she said.

Portugal, which has been under lockdown since March 18, has so far reported 23,392 cases of the new coronavirus, and 880 deaths, a small fraction of the toll in neighbouring Spain.

Reporting by Rafael Marchante, Miguel Pereira and Catarina Demony; Writing by Catarina Demony; Editing by Helen Popper

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