Quickly shot, edited video shouts vaccine joy at Methodist-Germantown

By , Daily Memphian Updated: December 20, 2020 5:44 PM CT | Published: December 18, 2020 8:34 PM CT

Laura Barden couldn’t sleep Monday for a bunch of reasons, including that the vaccine everyone at Methodist Hospital-Germantown was waiting for was still on hold. And there wasn’t much in the way of explanation from the state Health Department about why.

So, she sat up in bed and began scrolling through her phone, and came upon the happy TikTok videos of hospital employees around the nation rocking out the joy of their own vaccines, including Boston Medical dancing to Lizzo’s “Good as Hell.”

“It made me cry. They were so happy. I thought it was so wonderful that they were celebrating,” Barden said.

“As a faith-based institution, I knew we couldn’t dance to that,” she said with a chuckle.

Then, like the Grinch, a most involved, hilarious plan began running through her head.

With the soundtrack of “Hamilton” on her mind (she has a youngster who plays it on repeat on the way home from aftercare), she settled on “My Shot” from the musical and began sending various renditions of the choreography to staffers she figured might be good for the challenge. 

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“You kinda’ know who on your team would be willing to participate in something like this,” she said.

Sure enough.

Thursday afternoon, Barden’s handiwork, shot and edited on her iPhone 8, lit up the Twittersphere.

“I had to Google how to do it all,” she says. “I’m proud of myself that I can still learn new tricks at my age.”

Less than 24 hours later, more than 20,000 people had seen the 40-second video and left comments scrolling down several screens, most of them ecstatic, but a few bemoaning people who waste time at work.

Jill Collier, from surgical services, does an impressive can-opener in the operating room scene, shot during a two-minute break and choregraphed on the spot.

“People were really excited for us,” Collier said.

“It’s been a long year, and this vaccine is the hope everyone needs that it is going to be over,” she said, adding, “I do get caught dancing a lot. It’s only appropriate that they would catch one of my signature dances.

“You never know when you are going to catch me dancing. I try to keep the spirits high.”

Barden, a former marketing employee, now director of community development, shot snippets over three days, including some as the needles were going into arms on Thursday.

It was a whole lot of fun. We’ve had just two moments of fun in the last nine months. One was doing that video and the other was giving that first shot.

Jill Collier
Surgical Services

The “Hamilton” piece seemed fitting on two levels. First is the hard-to-miss reference to the shot; Alexander Hamilton didn’t want to miss his opportunity to do great things. And Leslie Odom Jr., who played Aaron Burr and fired the shot, was a guest at the virtual Methodist Healthcare Foundation Luncheon last week. 

Barden knows how to layer in the symbolism and meaning. Besides the Odom tie, she chose scenes from around the hospital, now so far off the beaten path due to COVID-19 that employees who used to see each other every day now never do, the equivalent of a modern Berlin Wall.

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“We have designated hot zones where there are COVID patients. In a hot zone, you have to have more PPE to enter and certain clearances,” Barden said. “That has disrupted traffic patterns in the hospital and associates going to other departments.

“It was really fun to piece together all those departments that don’t get to see each other.”

The glee as they saw each other echoed through offices and corridors.

The video is on the hospital’s intranet for the whole staff.

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“It was a whole lot of fun,” Collier said. “We’ve had just two moments of fun in the last nine months. One was doing that video and the other was giving that first shot.

“I felt like such a nerd because I was so excited about the first vaccine going in,” said Collier, who does not qualify yet because she is not a frontline worker.

“I absolutely will get it when it’s my turn.”

This is the second memorable COVID video that’s rolled out on social media from Methodist. The first was in May when Methodist University posted a video of a Black COVID patient being discharged to employee applause and Marc Cohn’s “Walking in Memphis.” 

Cohn himself responded on Twitter: “So honored and moved by this. Best use of this song ever.”


Jill Collier Methodist Hospital-Germantown Laura Barden
Jane Roberts

Jane Roberts

Longtime journalist Jane Roberts is a Minnesotan by birth and a Memphian by choice. She's lived and reported in the city more than two decades. She covers business news and features for The Daily Memphian.


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