Hollens uses gift to bring laughs, ease anxiety during pandemic

Hollens uses gift to bring laughs, ease anxiety during pandemic

By Tracy Riggs
Correspondent, The Alabama Baptist

One of the most important steps in preventing COVID-19, according to CDC recommendations, is to wash your hands often.

But are you washing them correctly? Are you washing them long enough? Have you had a hard time teaching your children (or spouse) proper hand washing techniques?

YouTube star Peter Hollens wants to help. Hollens, a classically trained vocal artist specializing in a cappella music, recently released “The Epic Hand Washing Parody” to help spread the word about proper handwashing techniques and hygiene.

In the video, Hollens parodies several popular songs in various styles so almost anyone can find a 20-second segment in a familiar tune to assist in making proper handwashing fun.

‘Making a difference’

“I can’t not do something right now,” Hollens said about the compilation. “I have been so blessed to be able to be given a platform … to fight this in whatever way I can. I’m following the rules. I’m quarantined. … I need to stop everything else I’m doing. I need to focus on trying to educate to try to make a difference.”

Hollens said he’s heard from many parents and teachers who are using the song to help children wash their hands correctly.

The song also has brought some cheerfulness into a serious period of history, Hollens said.

One person wrote to Hollens, “I’ve been locked in my house for three weeks now. I live in Italy. I was freaking out this morning, and I ran into this song. It just made my entire day.”

“We’re so focused on the anxiety and what we can’t control,” Hollens said. “I just want to bring levity right now because there’s so much fear.”

Hollens said he learned more than how to wash his hands while creating the song.

In making the video, he learned the importance of moderation: “You shouldn’t wash your hands for six straight hours,” he said with a laugh. “You’ll rip your skin right off.”

“The Epic Hand Washing Parody” is also Hollens way of helping others during this difficult time. Profits from the song are going to GlobalGiving’s Coronavirus Relief Fund, which allows fans a way to make a difference, he said.

Like everyone else right now, Hollens and his family are finding ways to cope with the changes brought about by the coronavirus.

Before the pandemic, they were active in church, with Hollens and his wife singing in the choir at their local Methodist church. They pray before every meal and still work hard on promoting family values even during this time.

They have found that one positive aspect in all this is creating more rituals with their children.

“It’s really weird to say but there’s a certain amount of positivity coming out of this, for me anyway — of finding the essence of what it really means to be human and alive and appreciate the family more,” Hollens said.

Hear more

Watch Hollens’ “Epic Hand Washing Parody” and hear more of his vocals, including his rendition of “Amazing Grace,” at his channel, youtube.com/peterhollens.