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April 22, 2020  | by Dr. Benjamin Farrow

The End of the World (as we knew it) - a Pandemic Playlist

Music can feed us when we are hungry, calm us when we are anxious, and comfort us when we are lonely. Each of us has a different relationship with music but it has always been an essential part of our environment at Monroe Street Family Dental.

What music will speak to you during a pandemic? That depends on how you are feeling. We choose to look with hope to the future, and reject fear.

Music that helps you suffer a loss of something feels important right now – plenty of songs penned about the heartbreak of a lost love work here – even if they are re-appropriated. Songs with a measured amount of humor or irony - but avoid cynicism - can help buoy a mood in a storm. Music that feels familiar or intimate can be an antidote to the toxicity of isolation and loneliness.

There have been a number reasons to avoid music full of anger, fear or despair. There are other ways to feed our appetite for these emotions that tend to consume us in a crisis. A well-crafted song is more useful in helping us unpack why and how we feel these emotions than in amplifying them.

In the end, we have chosen music that reminds us that we are alive and that we will be all right. Each of us is a human in community – folks have been making music to enrich their lives for most of human history. This moment is like so many other difficult periods: the world as we have known it is always ending, but there remains hope for a future we don’t yet know.

Today marks roughly the midpoint of the “Safer at Home” period of our lives. I hope that you will share this mix with with us. Let us know what you are listening to. We miss you!

Click here to play it on Apple Music

Click here to play it on Spotify

Note on the postscript: John Prine had a way of writing a story in song about a difficult topic and turning a phrase that could quickly help us see the situation differently. “Half an inch of water, and you think you are going to drown” is powerful. We lost him to COVID-19 and my heart is broken about it and I grieve for his family. That said, he wrote us several songs in his 50 plus year career that made it clear that his relationship with life included reconciliation with death. John, you were one of best and I hope you are in heaven enjoying your “vodka and ginger ale”.