Culture Feature

Trump Has Irreparably Damaged America's Role as a Global Leader

What could possibly end decades of American global leadership? Trump's Personality.

"The tougher and meaner they are, the better I get along with them. You'll explain that to me someday, ok? But maybe it's not a bad thing. The easy ones I maybe don't like as much or don't get along with as much." -Donald Trump

By Evan El-Amin / Shuuterstock

Donald Trump says his foreign policy is "America First," but in reality, it's "America Only."

He has spent the last four years sowing seeds of distrust amongst our Democratic allies while mending fences with strongman autocratic dictators. If America were to get into a major war today, it's hard to know what side we would be on and who would even be willing to help us.

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How to Help Musicians in the Age of the Coronavirus

South by Southwest is canceled and Coachella is postponed, but smaller artists don't have sick leave.

The World Health Organization recently declared that the coronavirus had spread enough that the outbreak can officially be considered a pandemic.

The impact of the virus isn't just physical; self-containment advisories mean that music festivals are taking the hit. Many events have been canceled in the wake of coronavirus.Austin's South by Southwest, the Australian Bushfire Relief Concert in Melbourne, and Ultra Music Festival are just a few that have been called off entirely, while Coachella and its sister country festival Stagecoach are being postponed until October. Though it's better to be safe than sorry as the coronavirus ravages the U.S., musicians—primarily independent touring artists—are taking a huge hit.

Because streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music pretty much pay artists in pennies, many smaller bands rely on live events for their income, from ticket sales and merch profits to exposure that'll hopefully reap benefits in the future. As "festival season" becomes virtually festival-less and artists also cancel tours due to coronavirus-related fears, a vicious cycle ensues: You have to make money to be able to tour, but you have to tour to be able to make money (not to mention artists often don't have health insurance or paid sick leave from their day jobs).

As fans, we can help! Here are a few small ways that can help out your favorite band during these trying times.

Buy Their Music

This is a no-brainer. According to CNBC, artists typically earn between $0.006 to $0.0084 per stream on Spotify. That means that one hundred streams of your favorite song earns that artist less than a dollar. Streaming has done wonders for artist discovery, but in order for those bands to actually make music, you have to go about it the old fashion way: actually buy their music. Googling the artist will likely bring up a link to their webstore, where you should be able to buy physical and digital copies of their albums.

Head to Bandcamp

Bandcamp is perhaps the most artist-friendly streaming site out there. Besides being a great platform to discover your new favorite band or underground artist, when you purchase something from Bandcamp, 80-85 percent of your money goes to the artist directly. It's a pretty sweet deal. If you're feeling extra generous, you can even pay above the minimum price, too.

Show Labels Love, Too

Indie labels do a ton of work, and they deserve your love, too. Check out what labels your favorite smaller artists are signed to—you can see on Spotify when you're looking at an album. They'll likely have merch, as well. Let them know you appreciate their hard work!

Donate, If You Can

This one extends beyond music artists, but many creators also have a Patreon to help fund themselves. If you feel compelled to donate, give a few bucks to an artist/performer who would normally be making live appearances right now.

Spread the Word

Are the people in your circle big music fans? Even if you don't have the cash to shell out on merch or digital copies of music right now (we get it), use social media to get a conversation going about how the coronavirus is negatively impacting musicians, especially right now. Their work is hard, so let's try to make it a little easier for them.


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.