With the deadly coronavirus spreading ever-faster across the world – and closer to home in Australia – we’re surely all aware by now that washing our hands properly is one of the best ways to avoid contracting it.
That means with soap and water for 20 seconds – or, according to Britain’s National Health Service, as long as it takes to sing Happy Birthday twice to yourself.
Health authorities in Australia and internationally agree that washing hands, often, with soap and water is one of the best ways to avoid spreading – or catching – infections such as COVID-19.
But, now that we’re months into the global outbreak, Happy Birthday might be getting a little old for many diligent hand-washers.
That’s where Wash Your Lyrics comes in. The work of a creative – and hygienically minded – teenage British developer, it pairs the lyrics to a song of your choice with instructions on how to wash your hands properly.
The developer, who says he is 17 and is known only as William, says he came up with the Wash Your Lyrics website in less than 24 hours. In its first day online, he had more than 120,000 user requests and more than two million server requests – with that number growing rapidly through Wednesday (Australian time).
“Thanks to everyone who has used the site so far,” William posted.
“Also sorry for the downtime, [I] didn’t expect the traffic the site received.”
William’s site is simple but effective. Users enter their choice of song name and author and it automatically pulls the lyrics from Genius (the world’s biggest collection of lyrics) and puts them, line-by-line, over an infographic from the NHS.
Elsewhere, as hand-washing gains ever more prominence, a how-to guide produced by Vietnam’s Health Minister has also been a viral hit.
It uses an upbeat song described by comedian John Oliver as a “genuine club banger” – and the original video has 9.4 million views on YouTube. The English-subtitled version has 1.2 million.
It’s called Ghen Cô Vy – a play on words implying the coronavirus is like a jealous troublemaker trying to come between a couple – and it has also inspired a dance challenge on social media app TikTok.
The kitschy animation includes demonstrations of hand-washing, warnings about face masks and public gatherings, and a gloved hand flicking away an angry-looking green coronavirus particle.
In the Philippines, the Department of Health released a video on TikTok highlighting protective measures against COVID-19, with instructions like “stahhhp, don’t touch your face” and “follow cough etiquette”.
While South Korean K-pop boy band BTS has cancelled concerts due to the coronavirus outbreak, Thailand’s BTS (the Bangkok train service) decided to get musical: