“Happy Birthday to You” should be the No. 1 song in the nation. The tune was once dubbed the most recognized song in the English language by Guinness World Records, and of course it’s often sung heartily at parties celebrating the births of countless people from coast to coast.
Now, people are hearing it more and more amid the coronavirus pandemic. That’s because health experts recommend it as great way to gauge how long to wash your hands, which is one of the most basic and essential ways to protect against infection.
Scrubbing should last at least 20 seconds, or about how long it takes to sing or hum “Happy Birthday” twice in a row, to rid your hands of any germs and pathogens.
It’s a fun, familiar song, but in all seriousness it’s worth remembering as a simple tool to ensure good hygiene in a time when clean hands can help ease an epidemic.