The Coronavirus outbreak is beginning to have serious impact on the United States, and in response to what has been happening around the world, many cities have begun to suggest self-quarantine, businesses have been closing down, and President Trump finally declared the virus a national emergency. As is often the case in times of chaos, many people are turning to music to reflect their anxiety or calm their spirits. Whether it’s fans juxtaposing Katy Perry’s “Roar” onto crowds of singing quarantined Italians, or listening to an old classic rock song about the end of the world, tastes often shift in response to world events.
R.E.M. has always been a beloved band, especially in the indie rock space, but in the growing crisis their 1987 single “It’s The End Of The World As We Know It” has been especially resonating with people — so much that it has apparently climbed all the way to the No. 63 spot on the iTunes Singles Chart. Back in the day, when the song was first released, it was pretty popular and made its way up to No. 69 on the Billboard Top 100. While there’s no word that the track has made any progress on the Billboard end of things, it might just make the rounds there, too.
Let’s remember Michael Stipe’s final calming couplet from the song though: “It’s the end of the world as we know it / And I feel fine.” Take his advice: Stay inside, stay calm, wash your hands and keep being kind to one another.