Michael Stipe Sings 'It's the End of the World…' in Coronavirus PSA - Rolling Stone
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Watch Michael Stipe Sing ‘It’s the End of the World…’ in Coronavirus PSA

The R.E.M. singer has some tips on being responsible during the current pandemic

Michael Stipe releases a coronavirus PSA.Michael Stipe releases a coronavirus PSA.

Michael Stipe releases a coronavirus PSA.

Matt Licari/Invision/AP/Shutterstock

There’s a song for every situation and right now R.E.M.’s 1987 hit “It’s the End of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)” feels particularly relevant. Michael Stipe has covered the song in part in a new coronavirus safety video, reminding us to stay home and be cautious.

In the video, shared on Stipe’s website (and in shorter form on social media), the singer performs a few lines of the seminal track and then addresses the viewers with his four rules for dealing with this situation.

“I do feel fine. I feel okay,” he says. “The important part of that lyric, that song title, is ‘As We Know It.’ We’re about to go through – we are going through something that none of us have ever encountered before and that is, of course, the coronavirus. And it’s real and it’s serious and it’s here.”

In the longer version of the video on his website, Stipe adds that he’s taking advice from friends in Italy, noting, “I’m bunkering. I’m quarantining. I’m Q.S.Q – quasi self-quarantined for several days now and that’s going to continue because I don’t want to go outside, I don’t want to be responsible for getting someone else sick if I’m already sick. I don’t think I am, but none of us know if we are.”

He also encourages viewers to stay inside and to find reliable sources of information. As for hand-washing he suggests finding an upbeat, feel-good song to accompany your scrubbing. “Don’t sing ‘Happy Birthday’ twice,” Stipe says. “It’s already depressing and sad. Find another song, a good, happy, calming song – your, like, blue skies song and do that.”

In This Article: coronavirus, Michael Stipe, R.E.M.


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