Twenty tedious seconds.
That's how long we're supposed to wash our hands. Singing "Happy Birthday" two times through is apparently the gold standard for measuring that insufferable duration of time, when you're stuck with you, your reflection in a mirror, an overwhelming sense that you're filthy...and that damn song.
People whistle it, hum it, sing it out loud. No matter what, everybody's getting sick of "Happy Birthday."
For those who find the song cloying — or downright depressing because their birthdays have been scuttled by COVID-19 — the Fort Collins punk band Bad DeSiCion wrote a hardcore ditty, "Wash Yer Hands," that can serve as an adequate substitute.
The band, which got its start back in 2018, when it rebooted a 1980s hardcore sensibility, describes the song as "a twenty-second blast of punk fury — just the amount of time the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends for proper hand washing. If you’re tired of the birthday song, or prefer a more rock-and-roll approach to your personal hygiene, check it out."
Yes, 2020 has become the year of jaw-droppers. First the country shut down. Now we're taking hygiene advice from Fort Collins punks.
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The lyrics are simple:
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Do you know you live in a world coated with disease?
Do you want to feed your family invasive species?
20 second scrub with soap is easy good hygiene.
Scrape under your claws!
Scrub your grubby paws!
Wash your filthy hands! (Please)
So what are you waiting for? Watch the music video — and start scrubbing.