The Infectious TikTok Trend

Turns out TikTok might be as educational as it is entertaining for kids—at least when it comes to learning about proper hand-washing technique. That seems to be the goal of a Vietnamese dancer named Quang Dang whose new dance challenge is blowing up on the popular app.

Dang’s dance, referred to as the #GhenCovyChallenge, includes six hand-washing movements, as recommended by the World Health Organization and the Ministry of Health.

“Ghen Cô Vy” is a song written by Khac Hung and sung by Min and Erik and choreographed by Quang Dang for a health project of the National Institute of Occupational and Environmental Health. The song conveys a message of maintaining a clean environment, washing your hands properly, avoiding crowded places, and raising public awareness about the epidemic.  

The lyrics, translated to English: “Wash our hands, rub, rub, rub, rub evenly. Do not touch eyes, nose, mouth. And limit visits to crowded places. Push back the virus, corona, corona. Constantly improve your health. And clean your personal space. Let’s improve our social awareness. Push back the virus, corona, corona.”

Dang was asked by Vietnam’s National Institute of Occupational and Environmental Health to create the viral dance, and it only took him 15 minutes to come up with the choreography. “The viral dance will help spread this information to the community,” he told the outlet via email. “Especially the young people. They tend to not get the right information.”

Photo here (Retrieved from Quang Dang’s TikTok post)

Within our Edison community, Erica DellaBonta, Coordinator of Student Activities, stated how she believes TikTok is quite an influential medium. 

“I think Tik Tok has been very influential as a cultural trend. Some of the videos have been informative, some for entertainment, and the overall concept of driving forward messages that are in nature “short” and to the point has really facilitated some interesting conversation. Of course the ease and medium of Tik Tok allows these messages to go viral and reach a wide variety of audience members.”

She references a few years ago the Ice Bucket Challenge, which also included short videos were widespread to help inform those of those impacted by ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. Ms. DellaBonta has also created Edison’s Digital Spirit week, having one of the days where students practice proper hand hygiene.

“Teenagers also happen to do a lot more for households in terms of running things and taking care of both adults and younger siblings/cousins. I feel like Tik Tok in general is aimed at a teenage generation so it allows them to share this information with all generations from their household and community,” said Ms. DellaBonta.

Not only has the song gone viral in Vietnam, but international media have also picked up on it. Billboard Magazine said, “Vietnam’s catchy coronavirus song will likely be stuck in your head all day. The animation is fascinating.”

The MV lyrics have more than 1.4 million views while the animation version records nearly 1 million views.

Would you do this challenge?

DellaBonta said, “I would definitely consider doing this type of challenge, but updating it to fit the needs of NYC. For example, I believe NYC in general gets what is happening with Coronavirus, but the importance of continuing social distancing, wearing masks in public and overall staying inside unless you need to leave would be more of the focus.”

Well before coronavirus-fueled anxiety swept the planet, the U.S. was facing a particularly rough cold and flu season, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention included hand-washing among the top ways to keep viruses at bay.

In December, a viral school experiment showed us why: It’s the most effective way to wash off germs and reduce your risk of illness. So, if a TikTok dance is the best way to engage, educate, and fuel this trend, more power to Dang and anyone else making the #GhenCovyChallenge go viral.

Michelle Nguyen

My name is Michelle Nguyen. I’m a very active person when seeking and exposing information as I believe journalism should be informative to the general public. I’m very interested in bioethics and medical shenanigans that’s happening around the world. I’m looking forward to writing about science and technology in the near future. Curiosity kills the cat, but science can save it.