With a global pandemic spreading and 6.7 million residents of six Bay Area counties ordered to shelter in place, things are bad right now. And sometimes, when everything is terrible, we need to experience a little joy—which is why we've rounded up songs about the coronavirus that are actually catchy, hilarious, informative or all of the above.
Surprisingly Good Coronavirus Songs to Stream While You're Sheltering in Place
Artists making light of the pandemic in a bid to go viral (do we need a new term for this?) might read as grossly opportunistic. But in some countries, public health authorities have harnessed the power of pop songs to spread accurate information about health and safety measures. And while not all the tracks on this list are exactly educational, they provide a fitting soundtrack for dancing alone during self-quarantine. What's more 2020 than that?
Here are seven of our favorite coronavirus jams.
Gmac Cash's Hypochondriac Anthem
Dressed in a hazmat suit and armed with a spray bottle of disinfectant, Detroit rapper Gmac Cash gives voice to contagion anxieties in his "Coronavirus" music video. "I'ma chill at the crib 'cause I'm safe here / I ain't even about to drink a Corona beer / I'm bout to stay at the crib for about a year," he raps over a tense piano loop as he frantically runs around town spraying everything and everyone in sight. Despite instructions to remain calm from public officials, the anxiety in the air surrounding coronavirus is palpable—at least Gmac gives us a laugh about it.
A Cardi B Coronavirus Remix
Producer iMarkkeyez made a trap-EDM remix that uses a clip of Cardi B yelling about her coronavirus anxieties and frustrations at government inaction on her Instagram. Ever the queen of social media, Cardi posted about the track and in a day it climbed to No. 5 (and counting) on the iTunes hip-hop chart.
Yograngel's End-of-Days Dance Party
Dembow, from the Dominican Republic, is one of the most fun types of music on the globe; it's an instant party starter. Enter Yofrangel, whose uptempo, hyperactive coronavirus song already has inspired videos of people partying and twerking to it amid the pandemic. In the music video, he's turning up while getting treated in an ambulance.
A Cumbia More Viral Than... Never Mind
Mister Cumbia takes the public health route with his "La Cumbia del Coronavirus," which contains helpful reminders to wash our hands, not touch our faces and use disinfectant. The song was released on Jan. 29—so Mister Cumbia had a lot of foresight to put this out before entire countries went on lockdown to stop the spread of infection. If only people had heeded his warnings.
A Corrido for Toilet Paper Panic
Stricken with coronavirus panic, people are adopting a scarcity mentality and buying up everything in sight—as numerous images of empty toilet paper shelves at grocery stores can attest. "El Corrido del Coronavirus" by Los Tres Tristes Tigres gives voice to our petty frustrations about closures and ridiculous shortages.
A V-Pop PSA
You don't have to speak Vietnamese to benefit from this instructional (and cute!) music video for "Ghen Co Vy" by K. Hung, Min and Erik. Written in collaboration with Vietnam's National Institute of Occupational and Environmental Health, the PSA takes the tune of a V-pop hit called "Ghen" and recruits its original singers for the vocals. The track inspired a TikTok challenge that dancer Quang Dang choreographed to spread the message to younger audiences.
A Message from South Africa
Another wholesome pop PSA comes from South Africa's Ndlovu Youth Choir, who were finalists on America's Got Talent in 2019. Enlisted by their country's National Department of Health, they created an uplifting, danceable track that leaves us with crucial hygiene reminders.