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‘We Are All Attempting to Survive This Factor.’ Gloria Gaynor on Her Viral Hand-Washing Video

‘We Are All Trying to Survive This Thing.’ Gloria Gaynor on Her Viral Hand-Washing Video


Wash your palms. That’s the directive from the Facilities for Illness Prevention and Management — and in addition from Gloria Gaynor, who’s staring down the coronavirus pandemic by bringing again her well-known 1978 tune “I Will Survive” within the service of public well being and higher hand hygiene.

Gaynor, the Grammy-winning disco legend, is the voice behind the latest viral sensation: a TikTok video of her washing her palms grew to become a social media success, even sparking its personal “I Will Survive” Problem with others exhibiting off their hand-washing strategies. (The related hashtag has over 2 million views on TikTok alone, as of Monday.)

“We’re all attempting to outlive this factor. I don’t assume there’s a greater tune for it than this,” Gaynor advised TIME over the cellphone after we caught up together with her to verify in on the favored video, which reveals her joyously cleaning her palms whereas singing in her house lavatory in New Jersey. As for the selection of tune? “It completely match.”

For many who haven’t spent karaoke evening singing “I Will Survive” for the previous couple of a long time, right here’s a lyric refresher: “At first I used to be afraid, I used to be petrified / saved considering I might by no means reside with out you by my aspect / however then I spent so many nights considering how you probably did me mistaken and I grew sturdy / and I realized how you can get alongside… Did you assume I’d crumble? Did you assume I’d lay down and die? Oh no, not I! I’ll survive!”

Within the period of social distancing, self-isolation and uncertainty, these phrases appear significantly apt.

The CDC recommends frequent hand-washing as probably the most efficient methods to fight the unfold of the novel coronavirus and COVID-19 an infection. However whereas most of us could also be used to a fast rinse, it’s necessary to keep up the soap-and-water motion for at the least 20 seconds. When this steering first began taking off on social media, some specialists steered singing the birthday tune twice to outing the method. However Gaynor had a special concept.

“Personally, I believe blissful birthday is the worst tune on this planet,” she advised TIME. “I’ve solely as soon as heard it when it sounded good.” To spare us the necessity to sing it, then, now we have the “I Will Survive” alternative possibility.

Gaynor didn’t know her creative contribution to coronavirus prevention could be such a success; her authentic video on TikTok has almost 300 thousand views, and it rapidly unfold throughout Twitter and different platforms far and broad with folks singing alongside. However she’s blissful to have the ability to get the phrase out and watch followers embrace hand hygiene.

“I by no means anticipated this, however I’m so glad that so many individuals are taking this significantly,” she mentioned. “It amazes me how I can go right into a restroom and I can see folks strolling out and in with out washing their palms! It’s actually one thing you must do on a regular basis.” Gaynor added that she’s upped her personal hand-washing and hand-sanitizing frequency. “And I’m attempting to not contact my face. I believe that’s the toughest factor to do!” she mentioned.

Gaynor launched a brand new gospel album, Testimony, final summer time, obtained a Grammy for her work and remains to be an lively performer. However like many fellow artists, Gaynor has chosen to restrict her touring and has canceled or postponed occasions attributable to coronavirus. “It is not sensible appearing loopy and being daring. I don’t need to get folks in a gaggle and discover out persons are sick.” (On Sunday evening, various cities and states across the U.S. instituted additional restrictions on public gatherings and the operations of institutions like eating places, bars and gymnasiums.)

“I’m simply taking issues someday at a time. I don’t assume we have to panic; we simply have to be cautious,” Gaynor mentioned. “I belief God to avoid wasting me and preserve me and so long as I’m doing my half, he’ll do his half.”