Gloria Gaynor's Empowering Hit Song Is Now a Coronavirus Anthem

With the Coronavirus shutting down public gatherings everywhere, it’s easy to become frightened about our future. But one star, famous for her empowering song, is reminding us to take control. I Will Survive by Gloria Gaynor has become a weapon against the spread of germs, and she’s happy to help demonstrate how it works. 

Gloria Gaynor’s ‘I Will Survive’ can stop the spread of Coronavirus

Gaynor made headlines and inspired happy handwashing by posting a video to her social media accounts. Celebrities everywhere are stepping out in support of public health during the Coronavirus epidemic, but Gaynor’s video was especially powerful because of her hit song’s lyrics. 

Oh no, not I, I will survive. And as long as I know how to love, I know I’ll stay alive. 

In the video, you can see Gaynor standing over a sink. She demonstrates proper handwashing techniques while singing the chorus to I Will Survive, words that are especially meaningful in this time of widespread fear.

As it turns out, I Will Survive‘s chorus lasts about 20 seconds, the same amount of time that experts recommend scrubbing your hands to rid them of any possible germs. 

“It only takes :20 seconds to SURVIVE,” she captioned the video, which was first published on TikTok. It has encouraged people everywhere to follow her lead with proper handwashing and even inspired a hashtag, #iwillsurvivechallenge. 

Gloria Gaynor was a big star in the 70s

Before her video, Gaynor wasn’t in the public eye much anymore. But during the disco era of the 70s, she was a big star. Her 1978 hit, I Will Survive became a double-platinum hit and an anthem for disco goers in shiny fabric, platform shoes, and big hair. But the song didn’t stay on the disco floor, it managed to work it’s way into mainstream culture as well. 

With multiple re-recordings, covers, and movie spots, I Will Survive was a catchy song, stuck in every American’s head. It became an anthem for empowerment, and in 2016, it was deemed culturally significant enough to preserve as part of the National Recording Registry. 

Gloria Gaynor just wants people to wash their hands

“We are all trying to survive this thing. I don’t think there’s a better song for it than this,” Gaynor told Time after her video went viral. Previously, experts recommend the public wash their hands to the song Happy Birthday. It’s the correct length, easy to remember, and everyone knows it. But according to Gaynor, it’s a terrible choice.

“Personally, I think Happy Birthday is the worst song in the world,” she said. And that’s why she wanted the public to have another option. I Will Survive is a fun, popular song, that most people know the lyrics to, and doesn’t feel as childish as Happy Birthday

Although she didn’t post the video to get attention, Gaynor is happy that it’s making a difference in the fight against Coronavirus. “I never expected this, but I’m so glad that so many people are taking this seriously,” she said. “It amazes me how I can go into a restroom and I can see people walking in and out without washing their hands! It’s really something you need to do all the time.”

Other artists have posted handwashing videos as well. Miley Cyrus, Jimmy Fallon, and Mariah Carey have all joined in the fight with their own ideas for fun ways to get suddin’. Really, it doesn’t matter how you do it. As long as your washing well for at least 20 seconds you’ll help stop the spread of germs. But Gaynor’s song is really fun to sing alone in the bathroom. 

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