WATCH: Kathy Mak Performs Coronavirus-Inspired 'Torn' Parody


Hong Kong entertainer Kathy Mak has found some humour in coronavirus, which the World Health Organization this week labelled “a very grave threat.”

Mak performed a parody of “Torn,” an Ednaswap song made famous in 1997 by Natalie Imbruglia, at Hong Kong’s Social Room last weekend – and, aptly, it has gone viral.

“Back during SARS, I was just a child / Didn’t seem to know, didn’t seem to care about the virus running wild,” she sings. “But now I’m freaking out all right / I sterilize, I sanitize / My hands are always frickin’ dry.”

Later, Mak sings: “So then I finally went out on the street / after days of being at home and hiding in my sheets / But then I start to worry ‘cause / there’s nothing left at the grocery store / I can’t find bok choy no more / There’s just white people things like pasta, cheese and corn.”

Mak told the South China Morning Post she is happy people are having a laugh. “People really need some cheering up at the moment,” she said. 

On social media, Mak credits the song to Imbruglia, who merely recorded a cover of it. "Torn," written by Scott Cutler, Anne Preven and Phil Thornalley, was recorded in Danish by Lis Sørensen in 1993 and then by Cutler's and Preven's band Ednaswap. Singer Trine Rein covered the song a year before Imbruglia's version was released.

An estimated 45,000 people around the world have been infected with coronavirus, which has claimed the lives of more than 1,100 people in China.

“Emotionally it’s been quite a downer and it’s hard to wake up to such sad news every day,” Mak said. “I thought that if I’m feeling this way, many other people would be too, so I thought a song would be a fun way of looking at the situation.

“In a way it’s been kind of a coping mechanism.”

Watch Kathy Mak perform her “Torn” parody below: