Yorkshire Times
Voice of the North
Graham Clark
Features Writer
11:00 AM 26th March 2020

Interview With The "Wash Your Hands" Singer, Jaki Nelson

As the Coronavirus continues to spread comes a timely release of a song about reminding you to wash your hands regularly. American singer Jaki Nelson has premiered a track (Don't Get) Physical which is a parody of the current Dua Lipa hit song, Physical.

Jaki felt the need to get the word out especially to young people about regularly washing your hands, after friends in France told her about the number of young people in French hospitals with Coronavirus.

Jaki herself is in the vulnerable group of people who are at high risk if they contract the virus, as due to a horse riding accident she has no spleen and has been left with respiratory problems. I chatted to her on the phone from her home in Los Angeles about the song and how the virus is affecting young and old alike.

How did you get the idea to record the song?
My friends in France were telling me about how many young people were in hospital there with Coronavirus. The Dua Lipa song Physical is one of my favourite songs and a while ago I was out in a bar and the song came on and I thought that I could write some new words to the track, the turnaround was very quick, from me hearing the song that night to the finished version you hear now was 36 hours.

Do you think Dua Lipa has heard the song?
I am not sure, I would like her to hear it to see what she thinks.

Young people seem to think that they are immune to Coronavirus, what would you say to them?
You are not immune, anyone can get the virus, it does not matter if you are young or old or even if you are high up in society, anyone can contract the virus. We had an 18 year old die of the virus in Los Angeles the other day and I heard over in England a 21 year old girl died of the virus this week. Even Prince Charles has Coronavirus now, so you see no one is immune.

You are in a vulnerable group yourself, what precautions are you taking?
Yes, I am at a high risk because I have no spleen and have respiratory issues. I wanted to reach out to young people with this song. People need to take this seriously - you can have the virus for two weeks without showing any symptoms and all the time you are going out and about infecting other people.
I wear gloves when I get my mail and leave it for 72 hours before opening, I get my groceries delivered and wash everything - even the bag that they come in as any surface can carry the virus and I am basically self isolating.

President Trump thinks that by Easter it will not be a problem in America, do you agree?
I do not think that you can put a time limit on this. You just have to look at how bad it is now in Europe, in Italy and Spain. In Los Angeles people are just not taking it seriously enough.

What artists did you listen to growing up?
Britney Spears was there, Josh Groban, there was a lot of different musical styles played in our house when I was growing up, pop, opera, jazz, blues. Basically I just love music. In fact I am going to be doing a pop show on Instagram Live and I am doing a playlist too.

How many times are you washing your hands every day?
At least 15 times. I am lucky in that I can work from home a lot and I am comfortable with that. I set my alarm, have breakfast, play the piano and practice, then I might have a workout, lunch and then go into the studio and work on my music. The message though is for everyone to take this seriously and keep your distance and to keep washing your hands.