The novel coronavirus isn't the only thing spreading quickly and driving people crazy in 2020, as Baby Shark, the hit song that children cannot get enough of, has become the most viewed video on YouTube, passing Despacito, as of earlier this week.
While the video "only" had 2.5 billion views in April 2019, according to The Verge, it has since skyrocketed by 181 percent, reaching over 7.051 billion views as of Tuesday morning. If the song was played that many times on a loop, it would take over 30,400 years to complete.
A chart portraying the growth of Baby Shark's popularity shows the number of views growing exponentially since late 2017, meaning the R number for the kids' favorite is definitely above 1. And the curve does not show any signs of flattening anytime soon.
Wearing a mask has not been shown to protect people from catching the earworm, but ear plugs may work.
The song, first uploaded in June 2016, is followed on the YouTube charts by Despacito by Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee, which sat at 7.039 billion views as of Tuesday morning. Despacito held the title of most viewed video from over three years ago until this week.
The two hits are followed by Ed Sheeran's "Shape of You" (5.049 billion), Wiz Khalifa's "See You Again" (4.79 billion), "Masha and the Bear" (4.36 billion), "Johny Johny Yes Papa" (4.15 billion) Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars' "Uptown Funk" (3.99 billion) and Psy's "Gangnum Style" (3.84 billion).
Baby Shark has a reputation of driving parents crazy while their kids cannot get enough of it. West Palm Beach, Florida, even weaponized the song last year and played it on a loop to try and drive homeless people away from an event venue in the city.The song has a longer history than the popular PinkFong video, with camp counselors and youth group directors using some form of it for years, according to the entertainment news site Vulture. One version by Pete Vigeant has been on YouTube since 2008, but only has a little over 336,000 views. The song has also shown up in various recorded versions in Europe and the United States.A survey conducted by Ipsos for YouTube found that there was a 63% rise in the average daily screen-time of Israeli children aged 3-12 during the coronavirus crisis, rising from 2.2 to 3.6 hours a day. Some 83% of children have watched content on screens every day during the pandemic, compared to only 70% beforehand.Jerusalem Post Staff contributed to this report.