Eric Church is encouraging his fans — all of them — to get the COVID-19 vaccine. The North Carolina native, whose own vaccination currently graces the cover of Billboard, wants to get back to performing live shows, but doesn’t see a way to safely do that, at least in the relatively near future, without everyone getting vaccinated.
“I view it as a Godsent miracle,” Church told the outlet, speaking of the speed with which a COVID-19 vaccine was created. “It became very clear to me that the only way to really get back to normal is through vaccinations. You’ve got to get needles in arms.”
For Church, the desire to perform is both professional and personal. In addition to being one of the most successful touring artists, of any genre, the CMA Entertainer of the Year also finds a lot of solace in performing night after night.
“I used the music and the stage to get me through some of those darker things that were more personal,” Church said, things that included the loss of his brother in 2018. “Take that away, and you’ve got to deal with some of the stuff you maybe haven’t dealt with.”
“That has been the hardest thing about COVID: It takes what you do. I just want to play shows,” says Church. “Politics’ job is to divide — that’s how you win elections,” Church said. “Those things that unite us are music and sports. The times when, whether you’re a Democrat or Republican or whatever, you throw your arm around the person next to you … We become one. We need that. I need that.”
Church is willing to offer perhaps a bit of a concession, albeit a small one, for those who don’t want to be vaccinated, but that doesn’t change his firm belief that vaccinations are the only way people can resume their normal, pre-pandemic lives.
“If you believe you shouldn’t, I don’t have a problem with it. I’m a liberty guy, too. I get it,” Church acknowledged. “But I view this a little differently than most other things. We’ve never encountered this.”