Former student’s rap video advises on how to ‘Stop Corona’

A new rap video called “Stop Corona” includes advice—to a beat—about ways to stop the spread of COVID-19, such as through washing your hands, coughing into your elbow, or avoiding handshakes.

The rap was created by former Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health student John Clarke, and his children. Clarke, director of occupational medicine at Cornell Health, was a complementary pathway medical resident at Harvard Chan School from 2016 to 2018.

“For certain demographics, something like a rap video will resonate,” Clarke said in an April 30, 2020 article in the Cornell Chronicle. “And there’s a science behind why songs are effective for teaching. Rhythm and rhyme stimulate memory. Music stimulates several parts of the brain at the same time. So a lot of time it’s easier to remember songs than it is to remember just facts.”

In addition to the video about the coronavirus, Clarke—who majored in music and sociology as an undergraduate—has produced many other medical education rap videos on topics including HIV, drugs, violence, H1N1, asthma, psoriasis, vision, and safe driving. He calls the genre “health-hop.”

“In health-hop, you’re limited in the scope of words you can use to rhyme,” he told the Cornell Chronicle. “It’s a challenge, but it’s a challenge I enjoy.”

Read the Cornell Chronicle article: Cornell physician educates youth through ‘health-hop’