Michael Stipe has been Q.S.Q. (quasi self-quarantining) for over a week after being in contact with friends from Italy. While hunkering down, the R.E.M. singer has shared music and words of encouragement to his fans.
Earlier this week, he sang the band’s classic (and currently appropriate) track “It’s the End of the World as We Know It (and I Feel Fine)” while giving advice on how to stay safe during the coronavirus pandemic. Now, he’s belting out another timely R.E.M. track — 1986’s “Underneath the Bunker” — and giving followers an uplifting message.
“I’m bunkering, at home. I’m sheltering, at home. I’m keeping apart. We’re together, separate,” he said in an Instagram video after singing a few lines of the song. “For each other’s goods, we’re keeping ourselves apart from each other, but everyone’s good. I hope that you’re doing well, and that your heart is good. I hope that you’re feeling the love from all over the world, because it’s there. We’re all in this together, and we’re gonna get through it.”
We’re living in unprecedented and undoubtedly scary times right now, and artists around the world have been using their time in isolation to connect with their fans in different ways. Death Cab For Cutie’s Ben Gibbard has been livestreaming hourlong sets every day this week; Jack White’s label Third Man Records is streaming daily sets from its blue room; Diplo is performing themed DJ sets from his home, and so many more artists are offering free livestreams to bring a little light to these dark times.