With the number of confirmed 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) infections and deaths globally rising by about 20 per cent and 18 per cent respectively per day, artists and musicians are recording songs to bring attention to the virus’s’ danger, and to encourage healthcare professionals and others fighting it in hospitals, primarily across China.
Produced by Singaporean Peranakan, Alvin Oon, director of Peranakan Sayang, a cultural-entertainment company, the lyrics blend fluidly and effortlessly with the decades old classic folk rock song.
Opening with the words “Hello virus from Wuhan, another problem’s (sic) here again”, the parody highlights the rapid speed with which the 2019 novel coronavirus is spreading — in seven days it has infected more people than Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) did in 2003 over eight months — together with methods to ‘fight the virus’.
Show care, give hope
Calling on people to keep their hands clean, cover their mouth when they cough or sneeze, and to wear a surgical mask if sick or around others who may be sick, Fight the virus calls on the world’s citizens to fight as one to “beat this virus”.
Speaking with AEC News Today via Facebook Messenger, Mr Oon said that he wrote the lyrics over a period of three hours, with the entire production taking just 48-hours to complete, despite it being the Lunar New Year. He then uploaded them to his YouTube channel and Facebook page.
“The whole idea of the parody was to do something that is educational, show care, and give hope and inspiration to everyone affected by this virus.
“Choosing a well-known tune gets a little more tricky”, Mr Oon said, “as it has to reflect the seriousness of the problem yet providing some light and positivity. The Sound of Silence met the feel I was looking for. After that I began to crunch out the lyrics, using key words to bring the key messages across.”
Mr Oon said so far the lyrics have been translated into Mandarin, Cantonese, and Thai, with “an Italian version also possibly in the works”.
Glad that people are finding his music helpful, Mr Oon said that as an entertainer who focuses on promoting his Peranakan culture (Straits-born Chinese) through songs and events, he felt “humbled and fulfilled” if people were finding solace and inspiration in his work, going to the length of translating it.
Chinese greats come together
Meanwhile, in China, headlining actors, singers and entertainers including Xiao Zhan, a member of the male idol group X NINE, actress Tong Liya, and Hong Kong martial artist-cum-actor, stuntman, and singer, Jacki Chan, have teamed up to produce a music video titled Believe Love will triumph.
Calling for national unity and strength, the almost five-minute long production features panoramic scenes from Wuhan city and Hubei province, the parts of China hardest hit to date by the novel coronavirus.
Featuring in-studio clips of the artists laying down the tune, the accompanying video also pays tribute to the legions of healthcare, sanitation, and security personal working through the emergency. The construction workers who built a 1,000-bed, bio-secure hospital from a greenfields site in which to treat novel coronavirus patients in just 10 days are also honoured.
Letting the people of Hubei province know that the nation is thinking of them, the video concludes with messages of support from people across China such as as: China jiayou! Wuhan Jiayou ( China/ Wuhan let’s go, chin up, keep it up), “Work as one to fight against the epidemic” ,”unity is strength”, and similar.
As of midnight February 2, Chinese health officials have reported 17,205 confirmed cases of 2019-nCoV, and 361 deaths. An additional 475 people had been successfully treated and discharged. Based on these figures the Wuhan 2019 novel coronavirus has a mortality rate of a little over 2 per cent and a survivor rate of 2.76 per cent.
2019-nCoV outbreak may be greater than stated
However, video smuggled through the great firewall of China and making its way onto social media paints a much grimmer picture than the scenes shown in the video above.
Video of what appears to be body-bags loaded onto buses, freshly deceased corpses being whisked away for immediate cremation, and reports of extreme shortages of medical supplies, including 2019-nCoV testing kits, surgical masks, and oversuits, give the impression that the Wuhan 2019 coronavirus outbreak might be a lot more serious than the Chinese government is admitting.
At the current rate of detection the Wuhan 2019 novel coronavirus will infect the same number of people as the 1918 Spanish Flu — about 500 million — in about 74 days. With a slightly lower mortality rate than the 1918 Spanish Flu it will take about 80 days to wrack up the same number of deaths, 50 million.
The 1918 Spanish Flu occured between January 1918 and December 1920, with the second and more deadly wave commencing in August 1918. There is currently no vaccine for any previously discovered coronavirus.
Feature video Alvin Oon
- Deaths skyrocket while Beijing delays coronavirus hot zone evacuations (video + photo gallery) (AEC News Today)
- Wuhan virus: new song from Singapore’s JJ Lin and Stefanie Sun strikes chord in China (Yahoo News)
- Wuhan virus: Death toll in China rises to 304 with 45 new fatalities in Hubei province (Straits Times)
- Starving Thai students plead for help as Wuhan coronavirus runs wild (video) *updated (AEC News Today)
After graduation she worked at the Philippine Broadcasting Service performing transcription and business news writing, before moving to Eagle Broadcasting Corporation where she worked as a news editor, translator and production assistant.