In this time of disconcerting norm erosion, when the user’s manual for global society is being rewritten on the fly, at least we have Randy Newman to see us through. A sardonic chronicler of human failings for over a half-century, Newman was approached by Los Angeles public radio station KPCC to record a public service announcement encouraging listener to follow the now well-established best practices for staying safe and healthy — and, more importantly, helping others to stay safe and healthy — during the COVID-19 pandemic. But Newman doesn’t have two Oscars for verbally explaining things, so he wrote a song instead.
Everyone else can relax. “Stay Away” is 2020’s song of the year.