Sir Elton John bemoans stockpiling and hopes pandemic will bring people together

By Keiran Southern, PA Los Angeles Correspondent

Sir Elton John has said he hopes the coronavirus pandemic will bring people closer together.

The revered musician, 72, is in isolation with husband David Furnish and the couple’s two sons, Zachary and Elijah.

Sir Elton said the outbreak, which has thrown the global economy into chaos and profoundly changed the day-to-day lives of billions of people, is unprecedented in his lifetime and compared it to a world war.

Sir Elton John said he hopes the coronavirus pandemic will bring people together (Ian West/PA)

Speaking to Zane Lowe on Apple Music, Sir Elton said: “Well, I’ve never lived through anything like this in my lifetime. None of us have. I mean, people have been through world wars and that must’ve been even more traumatic because you don’t know when you’re going to get bombed.

“But the thing about the world wars, it brought everyone together and I’m hoping this will do the same, whatever political party you’re on, whatever.”

Sir Elton is one of scores of high-profile musicians forced to postpone tour dates in the wake of the outbreak.

He had been due to perform across North America in the coming months as part of his Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour, but has pushed the dates back.

Sir Elton urged the public to listen to health officials and said the music industry will not begin to return to normality until after summer.

“I don’t think realistically speaking that we, artists, can expect to go back on the road,” he said.

“And so people are going to take solace in music. They’re going to catch up on a lot of movies at home. They’re going to get bored. We’re playing every day, at 5:30 we play Snakes and Ladders, which in America is called Chutes and Ladders, and it’s become a family routine now and it’s fantastic.

“To be honest with you, it’s great to be able to spend this much time with my boys because normally I don’t, even though they’ve been on the road with us since November in Australia and New Zealand. It’s, this is 24/7 with them and it’s fantastic.”

He added: “I mean I’m saying that after a week, check on me in about three weeks.”

Sir Elton also bemoaned the stockpiling taking place in supermarkets across the UK, leaving many key workers – including NHS staff – without supplies.

He said: “People just have to do what they’re told and and stop buying all the groceries. I mean this thing in the paper today on the news today in England on the BBC, people are buying everything in supermarkets.

“And then people who are working like 40 hour shifts in the NHS come off their shift exhausted go to the supermarket, there’s nothing for them to buy. These are the people that are doing all the hard work.

“And so when we have to think of other people that are a little bit more, the people that are doing the work, the nurses, the doctors that need the food as well. And the toilet paper of course. This is a different situation than anything that’s happened before. So you have to be very careful. Stick with your family.”