For obvious reasons, streams and downloads of R.E.M.'s 1987 anthem "It's the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine)" have exploded over the past week as the nation wakes up to the ever-expanding threat of the COVID-19 novel coronavirus pandemic threat. With social distancing as the new norm and everyone (hopefully) hunkered down in their homes and apartments on St. Patrick's Day on Tuesday (March 17), the band's singer, Michael Stipe, offered up a new, a cappella version of the song along with some helpful tips.
In a selfie video, Stipe sings the chorus of the song, then abruptly stops and adds, "I do feel fine. I fell okay. The important part of that lyric, that song title is 'as we know it,'" he says. "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."