Author Robert LaCosta’s role as an essential worker, as well as the challenges his family faced during the pandemic inspired him to reflect on this moment in time through his song “Love Goes Viral.”
By ROBERT LACOSTA
COVID-19 affected me the most as a hearing instrument specialist, a writer and as a son-in-law.
The latter role gave me the opportunity to spend three months with my mother-in-law under my roof. That was one of the greatest privileges of my life. It was as if time was standing still, and it made up for all of the other years that a busy schedule frustrated my desire to get together with her at her house for a cup of coffee or an Andy Griffith rerun.
In terms of the first role, I found that I couldn’t just say, “No,” to patients at our offices because hearing aids – especially during a pandemic – became more critical than ever as people spent more time together constantly watching televisions turned up way too loud.
With regard to my work as a writer, my heart was stirred more than ever as I witnessed acts of courage and love nearby and around the world. It was in the midst of the pandemic that I penned “Love Goes Viral,” a song that celebrates love in action. I dubbed it “the quintessential song by the essential worker.”
I wanted a hope-filled, snapshot pandemic memorial song minus any superficiality. This cut cuts deep into my soul because we were living it out while I wrote it out. I personally lived with the concern of giving my mother-in-law the virus when I returned from work. It was heart-wrenching to watch my stepdaughter postpose her wedding twice. Two of my daughters’ businesses were shut down. My sister was unable to get critical eye surgery and was left legally blind. Some of these events became part of the song’s lyrical montage.
Even so, I wanted to embed inspirational imagery in an upbeat song that would evoke a desire for listeners to choose love over fear while tapping their toes.
The country-pop chorus underscores the worldwide lesson that courage can’t be locked down, while the video powerfully portrays love in triumph across generational, ethnic and national borders. The catchy chorus rides along without skimping on simple profundity:
‘Love goes viral,
it’s who we’re meant to be.
In the image of God who heals to set free.
Love goes viral,
though lockdowns constrain,
for love lives from the inside out anyway.’
Between the song’s lines, a fourfold message emerges:
- Determine to counter hard circumstances with decisive acts of love.
- Take our minds off ourselves.
- Follow the example of those who are changing the world one life and one act at a time.
- We are all in this together.
Whenever I listen to or watch the song on YouTube, I wonder if somehow COVID-19 wasn’t essential in some ironic way.
Robert J. LaCosta has written over 2,000 songs and blogs daily at robertlacosta.com. Write him at [email protected] or call (518) 435-1250. The author is a Hearing Instrument Specialist and has worked with seniors through four decades.