During this period of constant chaos and anxiety in wake of the coronavirus, it is hard to stay optimistic. PSAs are everywhere we look telling us to stay home, keep six feet apart from other people, and maintain rigorous sanitary procedures. While some of these guidelines induce even greater panic, some public figures are trying to raise awareness by approaching their message with more light-heartedness.
Jaki Nelson released a parody music video on March 18t titled “(Don’t Get) Physical” in an attempt to find a more relatable way to inspire younger demographics to thoroughly wash their hands and take all necessary precautions.
Nelson is a Billboard Top 40 artist with featured songs “What We Wanna Do” and “Uh Oh.” The new video is a parody of Ariana Grande’s popular song “Physical”. Nelson was inspired to make the video after learning about how many people in their 20s were being hospitalized after being diagnosed with coronavirus.
Throughout the U.S., there has been an unhealthy assumption among younger generations that they are not at risk for the virus. On average, the mortality rate is significantly higher in individuals with pre-existing conditions and individuals over 70 years old. However, the misconception comes from those who are ignorant to the fact that anyone is susceptible to contracting the virus and, whether they are hospitalized or not, can spread the virus to anyone they may come in contact with.
Nelson is in a subgroup of people who are vulnerable to exposure due to respiratory issues and lack of a spleen, which was ruptured when she was an early teen. For Nelson, social distancing is no joke, and it only made sense to broadcast her message through the global channel of communication, music. The video features Loris, who is widely known from her appearance in season one of The Boulet Brothers’ Dragula. Loris portrays a characterization of the virus, called “Corona,” who chases after and attempts to infect unsuspecting victims.
Two versions of the video were released, the full version, which includes a cameo from Billboard artist Joey Suarez, and a shorter version that includes a hand washing tutorial. The short version shows Nelson washing her hands for a full 20 seconds which synchronizes nicely with the chorus of the song. Her goal is to get the parodied lyrics stuck in people’s heads, so people can sing along as they wash their hands for the allotted amount of time.
The lyrics to “(Don’t Get) Physical” stress the importance of staying home, making use of video chat to see and talk to the people you care about, and not only making cleaning fun, but sexy.