Almost six months since the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 emerged in Wuhan, China, healthcare professionals worldwide are facing ongoing struggles to serve and treat the numerous individuals still streaming into hospitals and clinics. As so many are giving nearly every free hour of their lives to increase the wellness of others, their own personal physical and mental health is facing a crisis of its own: burnout.

To help physicians care for themselves and avoid burnout, mental health advocates around the globe have sought to provide resources to aid these essential frontline workers. Yet, the real wellness tool that has helped healthcare professionals is something many would never have expected: The mobile application TikTok.

What Is TikTok?

If you have watched any of the news coverage regarding the novel coronavirus, its likely that you have seen stories of nurses, doctors, and other healthcare patients taking part in choreographed dances. These short, viral videos are the result of the video application TikTok. With TikTok, users can upload short videos of themselves with audio overlaid. Frequently, these videos feature individuals acting out famous movie scenes and trendy dance moves. 

While TikTok was a popular app for teens and young adults, people of all ages have taken to the app during quarantine to find a moment of hilarity and solace during a difficult time. Surprisingly, TikTok videos featuring choreographed “left foot, right foot” dances from hospital staff and floor nurses have become increasingly popular during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

While the short videos are often silly and include nonsense, they serve a unique purpose: bringing unity and hope to a healthcare industry battered by a shortage of PPE, long hours, quarantine from family, and an ongoing risk of contracting the virus themselves. The protracted exposure to this lifestyle has led many physicians to face burnout – with tragic stories emerging of those who have lost hope and taken their own lives amid the crisis. When healthcare workers and frontline personnel are facing great difficulty, many are searching for a way to increase their wellness and resiliency. To everyone’s surprise, the answer wasn’t a psychological test or medicinal treatment, but a video app.

TikTok’s Unexpected Mission To Heal The World

Let’s be clear: TikTok is really nothing more than an entertainment application, meant to draw users to binge-watch and share short, engaging videos with the hope of raising advertising funds. Yet, in TikTok’s remarkable ability to unite individuals around the world, the video app has discovered another purpose – to bring hope and healing to a hurting world.

For healthcare professionals, having the opportunity to connect and interact with one another online with funny videos and dance challenges brings a sense of joy and purpose that can be difficult to find in these hard times. Physicians and healthcare workers who are struggling to come in and serve others day after day can find solace in seeing others just like them, bringing happiness to others in unique and fun ways.

Will TikTok heal the myriad of illnesses and diseases such as COVID-19? Probably not. However, laughter and joy have always been an excellent medication for all kinds of suffering, so in a way, TikTok’s videos may be just the antidote we need for stressful times. 

Want to discover more fun and interactive ways to help you fight the symptoms of burnout related to working in the healthcare industry? Follow Apollo online to see more content just like this, and discover a network of physicians and medical professionals looking to empower one another as we bring hope to the world.

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