How would somebody cope when their name is rather similar to the name of something that is currently both feared and disliked in the world? In a way, the Korean-styled Filipino boy band SB19 have an idea of how that feels, and they managed to deal with it in their own awesome way. The quintet of Josh, Justin, Ken, Sejun and Stell were supposed to hold a concert next week that has also been postponed in light of the novel coronavirus pandemic and the rise of confirmed cases in the country. SB19 also responded to comments regarding the similarity between their name and the COVID-19.

According to The Philippine Star, SB19 confirmed in a press conference this past Thursday, March 12, that their concert at the Araneta Coliseum on March 19 will be moved back to a later unspecified date. It was a significant setback considering this would be their first major concert as a group, but they also want to prioritize the safety of the audience, especially their ATIN fandom, while the COVID-19 pandemic is in an all-time high of spread and infection. SB19 asked their fans to watch their social media pages for updates on the postponed event.

Snarky commentary also brought to light the (minimal) similarities between their SB19 boy band name and the COVID-19 designation of the disease wrought by the 2019 novel coronavirus. Sejun told a story of an ATIN’s Twitter post equating the power (popularity and contagiousness) of SB19 and COVID-19, which went viral among their fan community. Josh adds that the forced comparison also made him laugh, but notes that the onset of the virus was mere coincidence when it comes to the name of their “P-Pop” group, which only debuted in 2018.

With the country and the world on high alert following the pandemic declaration, SB19 remarks that they are playing their own part in keeping the rate of infection in check. Josh notes that they have started practicing social distancing with fans, further explained by Justin that their band has reposted safety tips and precautions against COVID-19 on their social media channels. The boys are thankful that their ATIN fans were understanding and even applauded the latter’s initiative in trying to raise Filipino spirits by buying Dunkin Donuts for strangers during the lead-up to their on-hiatus concert. Dunkin Donuts is the primary sponsor of “Give in to SB19,” which was not yet given a new date.

Image from ABS-CBN News