A music video involving Melbourne aged care staff and residents joyfully getting on with life, despite the recent Covid scare and lockdown, has gone viral, delighting thousands online with participants’ cheekiness, sense of fun and undiminished resilience.
The brainchild of Lifeview Emerald Glades social support coordinator Marc Zywaczewski, the video accompanies popular UK band Chumbawamba’s ’90s hit Tubthumping, and its rousing lyrics ‘I get knocked down, but I get up again’ could not be more appropriate for Melbourne’s current coronavirus predicament.
Zywaczewski was driving to work last week when he was jolted with a brainwave to produce the video, and the song choice hit him in a flash.
“It all happened quite quickly,” he says.
“With the whole lockdown taking place again, I just thought it’s a really important time to show people that we’re OK, and we’re doing fine and we’re getting on with things, despite everything.”
Filmed and edited completely on his smartphone, Zywaczewski had the video ready to roll within two days of filming and posted it on Facebook last Friday.
So far it’s been viewed more than 13,000 times.
“It’s just a great way also for family to see their loved ones,” he says.
“There’s been a few COVID cases in aged care from last week, and I just wanted to have a positive spin on it and on the role of staff in our facilities.
“I think staff can be under a lot of pressure, just at the moment, and with everything that we’re required to do, and with the shields, and the masks it can be so overwhelming.
“There are some difficult moments, but we’re getting through it, we’re doing it.”
With a background in performing arts and having worked on cruise ships and in holiday resorts running activities and hosting events, Zywaczewski was living in LA in 2016, trying to make it as a struggling actor, when he came across a lady by the name of Teepa Snow, who was producing a range of YouTube videos on dementia and dementia care.
“I was fascinated and inspired enough that it developed into a calling for me to come home and change careers and re-study and refocus my vision, I guess, and help people,” he says.
Having now been at Emerald Glades in Melbourne’s outer east for almost two years, Zywaczewski says the job, and particularly the Lifeview approach to aged care provision, have been enormously fulfilling for him.
“I think we’re very unique here, in that when we’re hired, we fit the mould of the principles that we stand by, or practice, by, which are LIFE – laughter, integrity, focus and engagement.
“It’s something we’re always focusing on together as a team – and live by and work by.”
Zywaczewski hopes the video will encourage viewers to consider working in aged care.
“It’s such a rewarding job, and there’s so much more behind it and it will get back to normal again, things will change and improve again,” he says.
“And it’s an industry that’s needing more good people to be involved in and working in, and I think, the whole virus has scared people off a little.
“I hope that the video reaches out to people to go, ‘Hey, this is a rewarding career and moving career and fun’, and it can be so, so much more than the fear that’s kind of being pounded out there from the media at the moment.”