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"It's the End of the World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)," the 1987 apocalyptic mega classic from R.E.M., has understandably been bouncing around in the minds of many as we deal with daily updates of the less-than-encouraging variety regarding COVID-19.
As reported on Friday, the track—a single from the Georgia band's Document album that's already enjoyed multiple pop culture runs—re-entered the US iTunes Top 100 this week. At the time of this writing, the song was at No. 64 on the chart, sandwiched between Lil Uzi Vert's "Moon Relate" and a Frozen II soundtrack cut.
The decades-strong Stipe entry last received a cultural boost thanks to Stephen Colbert's Late Show in 2016, with the confounding events of the election year inspiring an updated take on the song featuring the host and actor James Franco.
During an interview with Craig Jenkins for Vulture last November in promotion of the group's Monster reissue, Stipe was asked if we, as a people, were "staring down" the world's end described in the song's rapid-fire lyrics. Stipe asserted that we are not, while also noting that he's admittedly speaking from the perspective of an optimist.
"I do feel that we're moving toward something that is more inclusive and progressive, but we're having to go through pretty dark times to get there," Stipe said at the time.
On that note, why not pick a verse from the track and use it as your inspirational in-head soundtrack for impassioned hands-washing sessions?