Nurses on the front line of the coronavirus pandemic are being hailed as heroes around the country—so much so that the Navy’s Blue Angels and the Air Force’s Thunderbirds have been conducting formation flights over major United States cities to honor essential workers and health care personnel. However, at least one group of COVID nurses, in particular, have come under fire for what many are calling out as a distasteful TikTok stunt.
Political activist and commentator Julia Song posted the following video to Twitter on Wednesday, from what appears to be a since-deactivated TikTok account. In the video, a team of five nurses carries what appears to be a fake cadaver marked “COVID 19” to the popular dancing Ghanian pallbearers meme music.
“The corona TikTok nurse videos cannot get any wor…” Song added.
The corona tik tok nurse videos cannot get any wor… pic.twitter.com/vVNjbX5cNm
— ESSENTIAL Julia Song (@realjuliasong) April 29, 2020
The video quickly went viral, as others piled on to add their own two cents. “All of these TikTok videos with choreographed nurses in hospitals are starting to rattle me,” added one user, alongside a Spiderman meme, while another responded with a photo of a man at a protest holding an “arrest TikTok nurses” sign.
All of these TikTok videos with choreographed nurses in hospitals are starting to rattle me. pic.twitter.com/9TSm7LZmuX
— J.A. (@BigMeetyClaws) April 29, 2020
— jeff runyon (@jrun462) April 29, 2020
Plenty of others had similar sentiments:
I don’t understand why they are doing this. I don’t want to dislike nurses. Why are they forcing us to? https://t.co/1mlj07XDVn
— Cassandra Fairbanks 🕊⏳ (@CassandraRules) April 29, 2020
6 people and not one stopped and said; “this might not be a good idea”.
— K Prudhomme O’Brien (@prudhommeobrien) April 29, 2020
If I see one more choreographed TikTok made by nurses in hospitals, I’ll never call a fucking nurse a hero again. Idgaf come at me pic.twitter.com/8QjPzDkLne
— Luis Encarnacion (@GUUN_GUUN) April 29, 2020
Is this supposed to be nurses dancing while carrying a dead body?
Wtf is wrong with these people https://t.co/WWwT2ZqdZc
— Tim Pool (@Timcast) April 29, 2020
The TikTok nurses are at it again 🤡 pic.twitter.com/knr5eOpVaU
— Mark Dice (@MarkDice) April 30, 2020
Nurses making a joke out of COVID deaths. Such heroes. https://t.co/0hshezFAuF
— Jack Cochran (@TheJackCochran) April 30, 2020
However, at least a few people defended the nurses. One user pointed out that people are overreacting, and that the “dead body” in the video is supposed to represent the death of the virus itself because the nurses literally beat it.
They are carrying Covid19’s dead body… because they just beat it. To the sound of the funeral meme that has been going around.
I think people are overinterpretting this tiktok. It isn’t nurses carry a body of a person who died of Covid-19.
— Roman ‘Car On A Virus’ Yoder 🧢 (@masteryodaiv) April 29, 2020
On one hand, making light of a deadly pandemic for sure seems in poor taste. On the other hand, healthcare personnel on the front line of this pandemic also needs to blow off steam just like the rest of us, so maybe we should give COVID nurses a break?