It doesn't matter if it's a coworker, a best friend, or your parents: it's easy to get sick of people telling you to wash your hands, again and again. Luckily, the new coronavirus hand washing challenge on TikTok is here to switch things up. Yes, the hand washing challenge is exactly what you think it is, but before you brush it aside, consider this: literally anything that gets people to wash their hands can help stop the coronavirus from spreading, and this type of encouragement is really catchy.
The hand washing challenge, technically called #Ghencovychallenge, is a choreographed dance that mimics scrubbing, washing, and cleaning your hands to protect yourself from coronavirus. Per CBS News, the dance was created by Vietnamese dancer Quang Dang. As for the song itself, it's a cover of a tune called "Ghen" by Vietnamese singers Erik and Min. According to Billboard, Vietnam's National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health teamed up with Vietnamese lyricist Khắc Hưng to write up a new set of educational lyrics to go along with the original melody.
Per a translation on YouTube, the updated lyrics for the song say, "Let’s wash our hands, rub, rub, rub, rub them. Don’t put your hands on eyes, nose, mouth and limit going to crowded places."
On Instagram, Quang Dang explained the "rules" of the hand washing challenge, which are to do the six hand washing motions seen in the video below, and encourage other people to follow suit.
"I think the importance of the song and dance is the RIGHT information that they give to the audience," the dancer, who came up with the motions in 15 minutes, said to CBS. "And the viral dance will help spread this information to the community. Especially the young people... they tend to not get the right information."
This is an important consideration as TikTok users continue spreading misinformation about the coronavirus. In fact, to combat this issue, the World Health Organization (WHO) actually created a TikTok account filled with educational videos. One video, for example, shows how to properly wear a mask if you need one, while another offers people seven easy steps for protecting themselves and others from the coronavirus.
When it comes down to it, the video is a reminder that it's possible to stay safe while having fun. And if it inspires a dance-off with your friends around your bathroom sink, there's nothing wrong with that. Quang Dang told CBS that this is just one of the reasons he loves dance — it helps people look on the bright side.
If you want to watch more versions of the hand washing challenge, you can search #ghencovychallenge or #handwashingchallenge on TikTok. And don't forget to tag your friends, so that the movement accomplishes what Quang Dang hoped it would: spread information about how people can best protect themselves from coronavirus.
If you think you’re showing symptoms of coronavirus, which include fever, shortness of breath, and coughing, call NHS 111 in the UK or visit the CDC website in the U.S. for up-to-date information and resources. You can find all Bustle’s coverage of coronavirus here, and UK-specific updates on coronavirus here.