We Regret to Inform You That These Coronavirus Songs Slap

From a Vietnamese PSA to the "Cumbia Del Coronavirus," virus-inspired bangers are suddenly everywhere.
March 3, 2020, 6:33pm
screenshot-vietnam-coronavirus-psa-popularized-by-john-oliver
Screenshot via YouTube

As John Oliver popularizedand, more memorably, danced to—on this week's coronavirus-focused edition of Last Week Tonight, a recent PSA from Vietnam has turned coronavirus caution into an earworm so catchy that hopefully even the grubbiest among us will be inspired to actually wash their disgusting, germ-ridden hands. Seriously, just listen to it:

According to Billboard, "Ghen Co Vy" was written by Khac Hung in a collaboration with Vietnam's National Institute of Occupational and Environmental Health and performed by ERIK and MIN, whose song "Ghen" served as inspiration. With lyrics like "Wash our hands / Rub, rub, rub, rub evenly" set to a catchy, synthy pop beat, the song is, in Oliver's words, a "genuine club banger." (And yes, it's 2020, so it has indeed already inspired its own TikTok dance.)

But just as coronavirus memes and merch were inevitable, it's not just Vietnamese pop artists who have turned coronavirus into the foundation for some certifiable bops. Oliver called out one coronavirus-themed song, but there are many others.

In late January, Mexican singer Mister Cumbia released "La Cumbia Del Coronavirus," which has since been used in videos of people—including health workers in front of a hospital, and a person in a protective suit prancing around a parking garage—dancing, yes, the coronavirus cumbia.

Last month, Dominican Dembow singer Yofrangel dropped "Corona Virus," a thumping track that's kicked off by a loud, dry cough and makes references to wearing a mask if you sneeze. Its music video, which is set on an ambulance, has picked up over 800,000 views, as well as comments like "Guess I know what I’m playing when the homies pass me the aux."

Also in February, China's state media released "Believe Love Will Triumph," a swelling sentimental song that has been called China's "new coronavirus anthem." SoundCloud rapper Lil Nix posted "Corona Virus" with the caption "i honestly just wanted too drop this banger before we all d1e lol." Hong Kong singer Kathy Mak performed a coronavirus-themed parody of Natalie Imbruglia's "Torn," which works surprisingly well.

Some "songs" are really just shitposts: With over 620,000 YouTube views and plenty of uses on TikTok, where coronavirus memes are rampant, a looped track of someone saying only "It's corona time" is getting plenty of attention.

To no surprise, several of these coronavirus songs, while catchy, have troublesome lyrical content. With 61,000 views, Black Mamba Man's "Corona virus Song" deems Chinese eating habits as "not healthy," and with over 1.2 million views, Zorman's "Coronavirus (the song)" is a Spanish rap that leans into some unfortunate Sinophobia with lines like "Do not buy anything from AliExpress," a path of action that hasn't been recommended by organizations like the CDC.

It's safe to say that we'll be dancing in our office seats to "Ghen Co Vy" all day—but especially while we wash our hands for the full, medically-recommended 20 seconds. Got a gross friend? For the love of God, please pass the song along to them, too.

This article originally appeared on VICE US.