By now, you should know that the main preventative action you can take against contracting COVID-19 (the 2019 coronavirus) is washing your hands. However, there’s a method of handwashing you should be following, as well as a certain length of time you should be washing your hands. (And, honestly, we should’ve been doing this long before the Rona was threatening us. But better late than never?) According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), you should be washing your hands for at least 20 seconds, especially:
Twenty seconds can feel like a lifetime when washing your hands, which is why both the CDC and World Health Organization (WHO) recommend singing “Happy Birthday” twice while doing so. But no one wants to sing fucking “Happy Birthday” while they’re washing their hands. We barely want to sing it when it’s actually somebody’s birthday. So what can we sing while washing our hands for 20 seconds?
Well, the answer is easier than you think. A number of classic rap choruses (or hooks, whichever you prefer) are at least 20 seconds, and some are even longer. For those looking for a go-to handwashing track to rely on while social distancing, Okayplayer has provided seven recommendations that include choices from Outkast, Juvenile, Three 6 Mafia and others. It’s important to be vigilant about your handwashing, and, hopefully, these classic rap choruses help you in keeping your hands so fresh and so clean.
If there’s any Outkast chorus that doubles as a mantra for how we should be navigating this pandemic, it’s this one. What a way to boost yourself up as you walk to your bathroom in the same clothes you’ve been wearing for the past several days, your hands dirty from eating half of the snacks you got from Trader Joe’s. You look in the mirror and your face very clearly says, “Yes, I just binge-watched You, and now I’m rewatching Breaking Bad for the third time.” But in this moment, as you wash your hands to “So Fresh, So Clean,” that doesn’t matter. For 23 seconds, you’re in an imaginary world called Stankonia, washing your hands in a large marble sink. In the distance, Andre 3000 is wearing a custom jumpsuit that reads, “Were you washing your hands before the Rona?” and Big Boi and his pet owl are riding in a 1964 Chevrolet Impala.
Those two questions — “How do you want it? How do you feel?” — are questions you should be asking yourself every time you wash your hands. For 20 seconds, your hands should feel how I imagine K-Ci felt in every shot of the uncut “How Do You Want It” music video where he’s in the jacuzzi (sans video vixen because, you know, social distancing). Warm water is mandatory but soap preference — bar, foam, liquid — is all up to you. Look, living in the fast lane at this period of time is overrated: why be a spring breaker on a beach or booze cruise around people you don’t know when you could be drunk in the comfort of your own home and, most importantly, dancing to music you actually want to hear? Stay in, treat your hands like K-Ci — you’ll feel better in the long run.
Just imagine that when Missy Elliott is saying “get your freak on,” she’s commanding you to wash your hands. It’s helpful to have a handwashing coach during this time. Someone who encourages you to wash your hands thoroughly each and every day, even when you know you don’t want to. That someone is Missy, who’ll be quick to tell you “Quiet, hush your mouth,” as she points you to the nearest sink to wash your hands in.
Now, I know what you’re thinking — why is this chorus so long? No idea (the second time the chorus is done it’s 27 seconds, so take your pick) but it would’ve been better if it were just a second shorter (think about it). Anyways, you’ve got to be aggressive with your handwashing. A quick soap scrub and rinse isn’t going to cut it. You’ve got to lather up the front and back of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails with soap, and you’ve got to do it with intensity. The Rona doesn’t play around, and neither does the greatest southern rap group of all time. “Tear Da Club Up” isn’t for the faint of heart hand washers. It’s for those who are fearless, ruthless, and go above and beyond to make sure something is taken care of — by any means necessary.
Bragging about your clothes, cars, money, mansions — all that shit is so pre-corona. Step your handwashing game up. Are you applying enough soap to cover all hand surfaces? No? Embarrassing. What about clasping your thumbs in your palms? No? Get the fuck out of here. You really think you’re hypnotizing Pamela Long with your poorly-washed hands? There’s nothing flashy about that. You want hands so clean that your friends re-evaluate their entire life — or, at the very least, handwashing technique —when they see them while y’all are FaceTiming. You want that one crush who still views your Instagram Stories to risk sending a Future meme about wanting to hold your hand one last time because of how well-washed they look. Let “Hypnotize” be your motivation to have the best-washed hands anyone has ever seen.
By now, you’re probably treating most of the inanimate objects in your house as sentient objects, and that includes whatever hand soap you have. So, why not be the hypeman to your soap’s Q-Tip? For 20 seconds, those suds are taking center stage and hitting the five fingers of yours hands (Queens is the ring finger of the boroughs), and they need you just as much as you need them. Sure, this all sounds ridiculous if you’re still sane (stop playing yourself, you know you’re not at this point). But if the thought of imagining your soap saying, “Well, I’m gone” as you rinse your hands doesn’t at least bring a smile to your face, you probably take yourself way too seriously.
A twerk anthem and a handwashing anthem? Yes, Juvenile did that. So much of this chorus is an empowering message to your hands. Yes, your hands want to hear that they look good; yes, your hands want to be called a fine motherfucker. And if you don’t already do that, now is a perfect time to start.
Photo Credit for Outkast feature image: Jason Kirk/Newsmakers
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