Sing, Gloria!

Gloria Gaynor handwashing to “I Will Survive” is what we all need right now

Gloria Gaynor demonstrates her hand washing technique
Gloria Gaynor demonstrates her hand washing routine (Photo: Tik Tok)

As the COVID-19 sweeps around the world, we all know what we must do to minimize transmission: keep washing our hands and try to avoid touching our faces too much.

It’s easy to feel anxious with the 24-hour drip-feed of news about the pandemic, so moments of light relief are welcome.

Related: Antigay preacher sued for selling fake coronavirus cure

A video of disco diva Gloria Gaynor, 76, has gone viral (no pun intended). In the Tik Tok clip, posted on Thursday, Gaynor demonstrates her handwashing routine to – what else – but her classic hit, “I Will Survive”.

@gloriagaynorIt only takes :20 seconds to “SURVIVE!”👏💕🎶 ##iWillSurviveChallenge ##fyp ##coronavirus ##handwashing♬ I Will Survive – Gloria Gaynor

It’s led to an #IWillSurviveChallenge, with others singing the song for 20-seconds while washing their hands.

Gaynor also posted a 15-second clip to her Instagram.

Gaynor initially released “I Will Survive” as a B-side (remember them?) to a cover version of a song called “Substitute” in 1978. However, DJs and radio favored the flipside, and it was soon “I Will Survive” that began climbing the charts. It hit the top of the Billboard 100 in March 1979 and was also a number one hit in the UK and other countries.

It went on to sell an astounding 14 million copies in its first two years of release and has become a karaoke standard.

Gaynor has recently seen renewed interest in her career. Forty years after receiving a Grammy for “I Will Survive”, in January she won her second Grammy. Her 2019 album Testimony won in the Best Roots Gospel Album category.

Related: LGBTQ people at heightened risk from coronavirus, warn advocacy groups

At the time of writing, more than 1,600 cases of COVID-19, a new strain of coronavirus, were being treated across the United States, with at least 41 deaths reported.

Health experts recommend people wash their hands frequently for at least 20 seconds – including the wrists, backs of the hands, thumbs and between the fingers – to help prevent the spread of the virus. Anyone feeling ill is advised to self-isolate themselves.

Yesterday, over 100 LGBT health groups and advocacy organizations penned an open letter on how LGBTQ communities have a heightened vulnerability to the virus. LGBTQ people generally smoke more, have higher rates of HIV and cancer, and can experience discrimination from health care providers which puts them off seeking help.

The National LGBT Cancer Network, which published the open letter on its website, also offers information for LGBTQ people concerned about the virus, including advice on handwashing and links to resources.