20 second songs to wash away gritty germs


Antonio Maffei ‘20

Washing hands is essential to fighting the spread of the Coronavirus.

Antonio Maffei ’20, Social Media and Website Editor

“Jolene, Jolene, Jolene, Jolene, I’m begging of you please don’t take my man. Jolene, Jolene, Jolene, Jolene. Please don’t take him just because you can!”

This is one of the many songs that you can sing in order to ensure that you get your full 20 seconds of washing your hands not only during the coronavirus pandemic, but always.

Washing your hands can keep you healthy and prevent the spread of infections from one person to the next. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the public has been working to flatten the curve and not to get anyone infected with the deadly respiratory disease.

The United States Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends the best way to do this is to wash your hands for 20 seconds.

According to the CDC, “Many diseases and conditions are spread by not washing hands with soap and clean, running water.”

Some of us want to ensure though that we have washed our hands for the full 20 seconds. The CDC suggests the best way to do this is to sing or hum some of the world’s most famous songs.

Twenty seconds can feel like decades when you’re standing at a sink. The advice which is most commonly given is to wash your hands as long as it takes to sing the “Happy Birthday” song twice or the ABC song which we all remember from the preschool days. If you don’t rush through the lyrics, you should get about 20 seconds of scrub time.

However, if you are washing your hands multiple times a day, it might get a little old singing “Happy Birthday” 357 times. Perhaps you may want some other songs to be able to sing while you’re washing your hands.

One of the more popular songs of choice lately is Dolly Parton’s 1974 classic, “Jolene.” If you go through the chorus of the song as written above, you should be able to hit that 20 second mark. “Stayin’ Alive” by the Bee Gees has a chorus which is 24 seconds long, and it also doubles as the cadence for doing CPR as we all remember from The Office. That’s one song with two vital health uses!

The 1978 Los Angeles band, The Knacks, also has a perfect hand washing song as if you sing the chorus to their hit song “My Sharona,”  and you can even add in a little flare and change it to “My Corona” to make it a little more enjoyable.

I think we can all say that we have a Bad Romance with COVID-19, which is a perfect song to sing while scrubbing your thumbs and in between fingers. If you sing the beginning portion of the song, “Ra-ra-ah-ah-ah Roma-roma-ma Gaga, ooh la-la Want your bad romance Ra-ra-ah-ah-ah Roma-roma-ma Gaga, ooh la-la Want your bad romance” this should hit about 20 seconds on the clock and you can enjoy the rest of the song after you finishing washing up.

We all know that washing your hands isn’t what some would call a fun activity, however it must be done in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and other germs. Have fun scrubbing, Crusaders!