Outrage over ambos TikTok ‘coffin dance’
A UK ambulance service has apologised after paramedics filmed a TikTok "coffin dance" video with a dummy "coronavirus patient".
Medics were filmed dancing while carrying a stretcher in a funeral procession before bizarrely waving napkins over the fake body.
The clip is in a similar vein to the dancing pallbearers meme, based off a real company in Ghana that carries coffins while dancing.
But it sparked controversy on social media where users said the dance was making light of the coronavirus pandemic.
A North West Ambulance spokesperson apologised, saying it was "highly inappropriate".
The video initially shows paramedics in an ambulance, with one calling out to another: "Just have a seat there while I put my mask on."
The patient then coughs and the paramedics turn to look at him in horror.
It then cuts to four paramedics dancing with the dummy, performing odd moves to electronic music.
They then high-five each other and carry the dummy out of shot.
The video was captioned: "Caution. Morale boost imminent #COVID-19 #coffindance #nhs."
It was based off an original Ghanaian meme which has been widely circulated during the pandemic as a tongue-in-cheek message to encourage people to stay at home.
The meme is based on a video from 2017 that saw pallbearers in Ghana organise an elaborate send-off.
Before it was removed, the video had been watched almost 40,000 times.
Some viewers were less than impressed, with one writing on Twitter: "@NWAmbulance huge supporter of yourselves & the £NHS. I think you are all absolute legends. But to stumble across this video, mocking people with COVID-19, calling it the coffin dance and stating this is 'morale'. Personally I don't see families being ripped apart as morale."
Another wrote: "Amoral and sickening to watch. If you want to dance around in uniform fine, but trivialising death at any time is wrong."
In response the ambulance service said in a statement: "We are aware of a TikTok video circulating on social media posted by a small group of our staff which shows them acting in an unprofessional manner.
"Although we appreciate that those involved did not mean to cause offence, this video is highly inappropriate and a clear breach of our social media policy.
"We apologise for any distress this has caused and we can assure you that we are taking this seriously and dealing with the matter internally."
It's not the first time medics have come under fire for appearing to make fun of patients.
A similar video recently was slammed after it was posted online, with nurses dancing with a body bag labelled COVID-19.
And in the US, viral videos made by doctors and nurses made headlines after concerns they were being unprofessional.
This story first appeared on The Sun and has been republished with permission
Originally published as Outrage over ambos 'coffin dance'