Coronavirus sparks new hand-washing challenge on TikTok

TikTok is encouraging a hygiene 'challenge'. Photos: Getty/Instagram

A hand-washing trend has officially hit TikTok after singer Gloria Gaynor took to the social media platform to share her strategy on how to “Survive” during the coronavirus outbreak.

The 70-year-old disco-era icon posted a video in which she lip-synced to her own famous song while demonstrating that it’s perfect for keeping occupied while properly washing your hands.

“It only takes 20 seconds to ‘SURVIVE’!” she wrote, drawing attention to expert recommendations of using soap and water for at least that amount of time to combat the spread of the virus.

The video follows a dance trend called the #GhenCoVyChallenge that originated in Vietnam in mid February, after a dancer shared choreography to a song with words re-written by Vietnam's National Institute of Occupational and Environmental Health to teach people how to practice proper hygiene in response to the coronavirus. The song was featured on John Oliver’s Last Week Tonight where it gained widespread attention.

Still, people joked there was a need for a more straightforward hand-washing trend to hit TikTok — where videos tend to get millions of views, inspire countless duplications and create cultural impact — in order to get people to be more diligent about washing their hands.

The #IWillSurviveChallenge inspired by Gloria is just one of the trends that’s taken off since.

However, there are other videos currently trending on the app that have inspired a larger TikTok partnership with the World Health Organization (WHO) to bring more attention to the necessity of hand-washing and get people to practice hand hygiene in a fun way.

The hashtag #safehands will be launching on the app’s discover page this weekend, according to a TikTok spokesperson, where people will be encouraged to upload their own videos demonstrating what songs, movie quotes or thoughts occupy their minds as they wash for the recommended time. WHO uploaded its own video to start the challenge.

This partnership is the latest in TikTok’s other efforts to combat misinformation about coronavirus on the app, whose spokesperson additionally tells Yahoo Lifestyle that TikTok is excited to see the community amplifying positive and helpful trends.

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