We can all admit that the COVID-19 lockdown was hard on everyone, but for celebrities and other privileged people, it was not as big of an adjustment. Not only do they have large houses and access to better healthcare, they also have the funds to do things such as travel privately during the travel ban.
Kim Kardashian recently tweeted about how she and her family went to a private island to celebrate her 40th birthday. She said, “After 2 weeks of multiple health screens and asking everyone to quarantine, I surprised my closest inner circle with a trip to a private island where we could pretend things were normal just for a brief moment in time.”
The tweet went viral and users have mixed emotions. Some celebrities like Chloe Morello have defended Kardashian, saying she is not to blame for the COVID-19 case spike. Some users have decided to make fun of the quote and the lack of being able to understand the current pandemic situation. Other users have expressed their upset over Twitter, many using the infamous Kardashian reality show quote “Kim, there’s people that are dying.” People are upset that Kardashian used her platform to show off her privilege and have called her “tone deaf.”
Although I agree that Kardashian did not mean any harm from her tweet, she needed to read the room. We would all love to be able to get away from the chaos that COVID-19 has created, but not all of us have that luxury. We would all love to pretend things are still normal, but many people are still struggling from the financial effects of the pandemic. So it does not help when celebrities display their special benefits across social media. It just adds fuel to the fire.
This is not the first time celebrities have been called out for inappropriate behavior during the pandemic. TikTok stars Bryce Hall and Blake Gray were charged in August with misdemeanor crimes for throwing large parties at their Los Angeles home. In the same month, Kardashian’s sister Kylie Jenner was criticized for traveling to Paris, even though France has banned American tourists from traveling amid COVID-19.
We need more celebrities to use their platform to promote better behaviors such as social distancing and quarantining at home. Young kids consider them to be role models and will ultimately copy their behaviors. If they see their idols partying and taking unnecessary trips across the world, it lets kids believe these actions are OK. It lets kids believe these celebrities are above the law.
While businesses and schools are open, cases are nowhere near declining. According to the CDC data tracker, there have been over 500,000 COVID-19 cases in the United States within the past week. In Ohio, there have been over 17,000 cases in the week. So just because we have the ability to, does not mean it is acceptable to ignore guidelines and throw large parties and travel.
Not all celebrities have demonstrated bad behavior during the pandemic. Many like Pharrell Williams have tweeted about the lack of funds and supplies for hospitals and the need to donate to frontline workers and other relief funds. This encourages followers to donate, retweet and share messages that we do not always think about. This allows us to see that even though we are struggling, there is always someone else who needs help.
More celebrities need to use their platforms to promote quarantining at home, social distancing and donating money to relief funds. We need more celebrities to be proper role models for their fans in order to make a difference. If we keep mirroring their behavior and these spikes continue, we will never be able to do the things we miss the most. We will never be able to go back to normal.
Hannah Campbell is a freshman studying journalism at Ohio University. Please note that the views and opinions of the columnists do not reflect those of The Post. Do you agree? Tell Hannah by tweeting her at @hannahcmpbell.