TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A humorous acronym devised by the makers of cartoon dog Shiba Inu (總柴) has quickly become a viral meme in Taiwan.
To help Taiwanese protect themselves from the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and to take a jab at the Chinese Communist Party's (CCP's) sensitivity toward any mention of the origin of the disease, the minds behind the cuddly Shiba Inu have come up with the catchy acronym WUHAN. Shiba Inu is the "spokesdog" for the Ministry of Health and Welfare (MOHW) and was created by the Taiwanese company Rexy International Ltd.
The meme was posted on the Shiba Says Facebook page on Tuesday (March 3) with the simple caption "protecting yourself also protects others." The bilingual Chinese and English illustration then lists the creative and sarcastic acronym WUHAN, which stands for "Wash your hands often," "Use mask properly and responsibly," "Have your temperature checked daily for fever," "Avoid large crowds," and "Never touch your face with unwashed hands."
The acronym is not only easy to remember but also pokes fun at the CCP's insistence that the World Health Organization (WHO) and all countries in the world not include China or Wuhan in the name of the disease. This despite the fact that many major epidemics and natural disasters in history have been based on their geographic origin.
After the WHO officially changed the technical name of the virus from 2019-nCoV to COVID-19, Taiwanese authorities said on Feb. 12 they would continue to use the name of the Chinese city to refer to the growing outbreak in order to make it intelligible for the public. The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) issued a statement saying that the recurrent name changes by the WHO could easily confuse people.
As an act of defiance against the CCP and WHO, similar memes with the WUHAN acronym surfaced in the Philippines as early as Jan. 30 on Twitter:
Health Assistant Sec. Eric Tayag says it is important to remember W.U.H.A.N to prevent infection of the 2019 novel coronavirus. pic.twitter.com/eFIL4pG7DW— Daily Tribune (@tribunephl) January 30, 2020
Kumpirmado na ang unang kaso ng 2019-novel coronavirus sa Pilipinas, ayon sa ulat ng DoH. https://t.co/FoWZPDnx7A— GMA News (@gmanews) January 30, 2020
Narito ang ilang paraan para makapag-ingat mula sa pagkalat ng nCoV, ayon kay DOH Asec. Eric Tayag.
Panoorin: https://t.co/SOYwGHcakL pic.twitter.com/tb19P0cBXT
The DOH & WHO Phils has confirmed its first case of novel coronavirus or 2019-nCoV for Phils on Jan 30, 2020.— Badenzo (@Renzodiazepin) January 30, 2020
Always remember WUHAN
Use mask properly
Have temperature checked regularly
Avoid large crowds
Never touch your face with unclean hands, no beso-beso.
Shibu Inu WUHAN meme. (Facebook, 柴語錄 Shiba Says illustration)