Music Features

Vietnam's Coronavirus Hand-Washing Song Is a Total Bop

Seriously, wash your hands.

Quang Đăng

While COVID-19 may be the harbinger of the apocalypse, at least for global stock markets, that doesn't mean it can't also be the inspiration for some super catchy tunes.

As it turns out, one of the primary preventative measures we can take in combatting the spread of coronavirus is washing our hands. Unfortunately, it just so happens that most of us have no idea how to actually wash our hands properly. In fact, according to a 2013 study, only 5% of people know how to wash their hands effectively—a process that involves scrubbing your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap before rinsing with water. But if people can't figure out how to perform an action as simple and basic as washing their hands, how can we possibly hope to prevent the spread of infectious diseases?

Enter Vietnam. Yes, the whole country. Well, kind of. Vietnam's National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health teamed up with lyricist Khắc Hung to release a coronavirus-oriented cover of the V-Pop song "Ghen" by singers Erik and Min. The resulting hybrid pop song, "Ghen Cô Vy," teaches you how to wash your hands the right way while also being really, really, ridiculously catchy.

But the fun doesn't end with just just a catchy song, oh no. The true beauty of "Ghen Cô Vy" wasn't fully realized until dancer Quang Đăng released an accompanying dance. Only then could the song truly go...viral.

Generally speaking, people are much more likely to build essential habits if those habits are somehow gamified.

Whether it's getting a sticker on a chart every time you brush your teeth or gaining experience in an app every time you run a mile, gamification has the potential to make not fun things, well, kind of fun. That's where the real genius of Đăng's corresponding Instagram post comes into play. See, not only do Đăng's smooth dance moves mimic the actions of proper hand-washing, but he invites other people to join him in a dance challenge.

By laying out the necessary "dance" moves and encouraging others to share their own versions, Đăng effectively teaches people exactly how to do the basic thing they should be doing in the first place if they don't want to actively spread diseases. The full "game rules" are as follows, because, you know, they're kind of important:

"Game rules: You perform the dance of the song Ghen Co Vy with 6 hand washing movements as recommended by the World Health Organization and the Ministry of Health...Take this challenge or share the following epidemic prevention habits:

1. Wash your hands often with soap or an antiseptic solution.
2. Do not put hands on eyes, nose and mouth.
3. Regularly clean personal hygiene, hygiene of utensils, houses and surroundings.
4. Wear a mask to go to public places, on vehicles or when you are sick.
5. Self-awareness to improve health for themselves, the family and the community.
6. People with symptoms of COVID-19 have high fever, cough, shortness of breath, etc. or close contact with infected person / person suspected of COVID-19 and limit contact with other people and contact local health facilities."

Đăng's efforts have been a massive success, with the song quickly becoming a worldwide phenomenon, especially on TikTok where people have been actively spreading their own interpretations of the "coronavirus song." One can only hope that the song's popularity translates to an uptick in improvement of actual hand-washing techniques because, really guys, it's not that hard.

Currently in the US, president Donald Trump is doing everything in his power to deny the severity of the coronavirus crisis. That leaves it to us, as informed citizens, to prioritize the safety of ourselves and the people around us and to make sure we're doing everything in our power to avoid spreading a deadly disease to the immunocompromised people in our communities. So listen to "Ghen Co Vy," and take it to heart. Then make sure to wash your hands many times every day.