As the world screeches to a halt over the coronavirus pandemic, a song re-entered the music charts this week: R.E.M.‘s 1987 classic “It’s The End of the World As We Know It,” truly a sign of the times — and on Tuesday, Michael Stipe himself issued a special video message that serves as a helpful PSA for how to combat your coronavirus risk.
He outlined four steps for personal safety, taken from the CDC’s recommendation:
- Stay at Home
- Wash Your Hands
- Act Like You’re Already Sick (Social Distancing)
- Don’t Trust Social Media (visit the CDC for accurate information)
And even began the video singing a few bars of the song that has pretty much become the definitive R.E.M. song, at least in a pop culture sense:
Thank you, Michael Stipe, for a bit of levity mixed in with serious, helpful advice for your fellow humans.
As for “It’s The End of the World As We Know It” re-entering the iTunes music charts, the song “skyrocketed 184% to 1,000 downloads sold and 48% in on-demand U.S. streams to 746,000, according to Nielsen Music/MRC Data,” per Billboard.
This all came on the same day U2 singer Bono performed a new song dedicated For the Italians who inspired it… for the Irish… for ANYONE who this St. Patrick’s day is in a tight spot and still singing. For the doctors, nurses, carers on the front line, it’s you we’re singing to.”