The Safe Hands Challenge, the latest addition to the list of viral internet challenges, is taking over Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, TikTok, and other social media platforms in Lebanon and the rest of the world.
While several of the previous internet crazes that blew up around the world were deemed dangerous and unhealthy, this new one, as its name implies, is totally safe. In fact, it is encouraged!
This time around, it’s the World Health Organization (WHO) that started the challenge.
Takers of the Safe Hands Challenge are required to simply film themselves washing their hands for at least 40 seconds straight using WHO’s proper handwashing techniques.
Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of WHO, started the #SafeHands challenge on March 13th. He posted online a video of himself explaining the effective method to wash the hands while demonstrating it.
He then nominated 3 celebrities to take the challenge and asked them to each challenge 3 other people after doing it, and just like that, the challenge kicked off.
Dr. Ghebreyesus has also been personally nominating a list of names every day since the beginning of the campaign.
There are several measures you can take to protect yourself from #COVID19. One of the most important ones is regular & safe hand hygiene. Here are the steps recommended by @WHO ? Show the ? where and how you wash your hands. Join the WHO #SafeHands challenge! pic.twitter.com/5ElZyiyZun
Less than two weeks later, today, the hashtag of the Safe Hands Challenge has been used more than half a billion times around the world on various social media platforms.
Numerous world-famous names such as Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bill Gates, Selena Gomez, Gordon Ramsay, Christiano Ronaldo, and many others have been called on to join the challenge.
WHO’s representative in Lebanon later launched a local version of the same challenge, under #SafeHands4Lebanon.
Several Lebanese public figures, journalists, professors, and many other influencers have taken the challenge.
Moreover, the ambassadors in Lebanon of each of the United Kingdom, Canada, the Netherlands, France, and other countries have participated in the SafeHands4Lebanon campaign, as have UN officials in the country.
In addition to promoting proper handwashing techniques to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, WHO used the challenge to spread awareness on Climate Change and the importance of freshwater on the annual World Water Day, March 22nd.