Every week, I hate something new about this pandemic. One of my top choices of the week would probably be the viral “COVID dance number.”
Mark Herras raised me to low-key love catchy dance numbers (shout out to the iconic “Average Joe” routine). So of course, I can’t deny my heritage. But if we learned anything from the Philippine National Police’s PO1 Bato mascot, it’s that dance is not the government’s forte, among other things.
Obviously, they still refuse to listen (shocker). This includes San Pablo Laguna’s local government unit.
Mayor Loreto Amante of San Pablo, Laguna’s latest initiative was its “distancing stick.” With this average stick, they can ensure that residents are practicing physical distancing in public. And they want to illustrate its use through the art of dance.
According to Interaksyon, this initiative was presented to the National Task Force (NTF) Against COVID-19 and the Coordinated Operations to Defeat Epidemic (CODE) Team on Aug. 15. Laguna has the highest number of coronavirus cases in CALABARZON and as of Aug. 16, the province has a total of 3,644 COVID-positive patients in the area.
The announcer in the viral video explained how the stick will be used to serve as a weapon and shield to an invisible enemy. “Mga kaibigan, para sa isang natatanging bilang, kilalanin natin ang opisyal la maskot na si Mister Covid na dapat nating puksain. Sabay-sabay nating isigaw, ‘Corona, lumayo ka!’” says the announcer.
It’s…kind of hard to watch. And honestly, I don’t understand why the demo needed to be explained through dance. I don’t understand half of these initiatives even though they sort of mean well.
So to walk me through this experience, I called on our Brand Lead and resident choreographer Kyle Cayabyab to interpret this viral routine. He used his usual dance competition judging rubric to analyze… whatever this is:
2/10 Audience Impact
“I heard zero claps after their performance, but I gave them two points cause the old dude on the right was bopping to the song.”
12/30 Execution & Concept
“Was the concept timely? Yes. Were the steps timely? A bit late. Late by 15 years.”
“I know they had to ‘stay away’ from the virus, but they could have not let the virus block the show for the other viewers.”
4/20 Performance (Stage presence)
“The virus literally had one face throughout the dance number, while the rest had it covered. Disappointed but not surprised.”
15/15 Overall impact
“I am giving it a 15/15 simply because coronavirus hit us hard. Like 6,000 cases a day kind of hard.”
Kyle gave this performance a total of 42/100. A big ooft to these performers and the folks who hired them. So close to reaching a passable 50.
So if any government official wants to do a viral dance campaign over a global pandemic, maybe keep these notes in mind. Maybe don’t do them at all. The public doesn’t need anything to be “cool”—we just need an initiative to be actually effective.
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