Through the lens of contagion theory, this paper examines the act of sanitizing tactile references in popular music at a time of legislated and extreme isolation . “ Sweet Caroline ” is an infectious tune that embraces togetherness and intimacy both lyrically and through its live performance . However, on March 22 , 2020, Neil Diamond posted on Twitter a clip of himself, alone in front of a fireplace, singing a modified version of his hit song which reworked the lyrics of “ touching hands ” to “ washing hands ” and “ touching me, touching you ” to “ don ’ t touch me, I won ’ t touch you. ” More viral than COVID-19 itself, the revised “ Sweet Caroline ” has spread to over five million viewers in a couple of short weeks . Touch, during the COVID-19 pandemic, has become devalued at a time when it should be celebrated as a point of comfort in the present and as hope for the future.