The ongoing global coronavirus outbreak is generally considered a Very Bad Thing, but here’s another bug that Singapore actively wants to infect people with: a jingle.
On Saint Valentine’s Day in the year of our Lord 2020, the Ministry of Education (MOE) thought that the best way to capture the hearts and minds of children is with a rap song with a lyrical flow that sounds like it belongs firmly in the ‘80s. Which is sort of mismatched when overlaid on top of a basic drum machine beat and lo-fi synth chords.
I mean, of course, we’re not expecting a banger of a tune — Bye Bye Virus is an educational song that’s intended to inculcate hygienic habits in young kids. Steps like washing hands with soap and not touching your face (that’s how the coronavirus can enter passageways and infect the lungs) are valuable.
MOE simply believes that a kiddy song-and-dance routine will help in the efforts against the outbreak.
Apropos to Singapore’s usual procedure of introducing mascots in campaigns, the song also introduced five superhero mascots that are associated with different hygiene habits. Like Mask Up Mei Mei, for example, whose strength lies in surgical masks and the understanding of when to wear one.
CNA was present at First Toa Payoh Primary School (FTPPS) last Friday to grace the launch of the illuminating melody. Behold.
The anti-virus song went viral, but perhaps not for the reasons that MOE intended it to be. The Internet had a whole weekend to react to the widely shared clips of the jingle — here’s what they had to say.
It’s not all that bad though. While comments on the YouTube video is disabled, some remarks made it onto MOE's Facebook page.
The Singaporean OG of fighting virus outbreaks with rap, Phua Chu Kang, wasn't too far behind with his own message.