In the midst of the panic and chaos surrounding the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, R.E.M.‘s 1987 smash-hit radio single It’s the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine) is feeling particularly relevant to music fans across the world, and despite the global pandemic, Michael Stipe says he does, in fact, “feel fine.”
In an attempt to keep his fans informed, the former R.E.M. frontman shared a public service announcement to the band’s social media channels on Tuesday, highlighting not only the importance of social distancing and self-quarantining, but in staying positive during the height of the dreary outbreak.
The video kicks off with Stipe singing the chorus of the alternative rock anthem.
Stipe continues: “It’s real, it’s serious and it’s here. It’s not tomorrow, it’s not next week. It’s now, it’s today, it’s tonight. It’s St. Patrick’s Day.”
In a longer, five-minute version of video — found on the official Michael Stipe website — the singer/songwriter shares some of the advice he has received from friends in Italy about self-isolation.
“Their message was to us, ‘Please take this seriously. Do not go out of your house unless you have to,” he says.
For those who may not know, Italy, is currently worst-affected country. It was officially placed under a nationwide emergency lockdown by its government in an attempt to combat COVID-19 on March 9.
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