Celebrities Speaking On Self Isolation: Helpful Or Out Of Touch?


(Photo/Engin Akyurt/Unsplash)

Reed Dillon, Staff Writer

In recent times, as SARS-CoV-2 spreads rapidly through the United States, many celebrities are speaking out in support of self-isolation. Celebrities are using social media platforms like Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, and Tik Tok to document their self-isolation experiences. Through Instagram or Snapchat stories, people have shared what they are doing to stay busy and safe at home. 

While some celebrities have used their social media influence to educate their followers on the importance of limiting human contact or to share their social distancing tips for physical and mental health, others seem to be lacking in empathy for those less fortunate. 

Sadly, some photos or videos posted by celebrities only go to show the large economic disparity between the rich and those with fewer means. Freshman Paris Smith speaks on these out of touch posts: “Maybe just think of things the average person can do, someone who doesn’t live in a multi-million dollar mansion and have several pools.” While stars such as Madonna or Gal Gadot likely are not intending to offend their viewers, they simply are not in the same situation as the average person. Madonna’s post on COVID-19 as the “great equalizer” from her rose petal bath, or Gadot’s star-studded rendition of John Lennon’s “Imagine,” where Amy Adams, Mark Ruffalo, Kristin Wiig, Zoe Kravitz, and others sing “imagine no possessions” from their spacious homes, seem distasteful. 

Celebrities posting about their “boredom” has begun to irritate those who are in a much more difficult situation. Many people do not have the same job security as those with more money or the ability to work from home. People whose jobs require them to work in person either face unemployment or must put themselves at risk of contracting COVID-19.

However, no matter the tone-deaf posts from stars who have not acknowledged the harsh reality of the challenges the less privileged are facing, it is necessary to have famous people with large followings spread awareness about SARS-CoV-2. Many people who do not follow the news follow celebrities, so having them share information about self-isolation and COVID-19 is an added layer of protection for those unaware of how to proceed. Freshman Jazelle Covington commented: “I agree that it’s important for [celebrities] to talk about this coronavirus, even if they’re saying clueless things, because not everyone, especially our generation, watches the news, so a lot of people wouldn’t know what to do.” 

Celebrities who have been diagnosed with COVID-19, such as Tom Hanks and Idris Elba, can serve as a wake-up call to many Americans who previously doubted its severity. The influence celebrities have is so widespread that anything they post will gain traction. The positive posts on social distancing and COVID-19 outweigh the thoughtless ones. Freshman Vaishnavi Bhalla shared her thoughts, stating, “I know [celebrities] can sound condescending because they might not get what the ‘regular’ people are going through, but a lot are spreading positivity. I appreciate that.” 

Celebrities sharing their experiences, if carried out respectfully, can build a greater sense of community. The Good Place actress Jameela Jamil posted this uplifting and authentic message on Twitter: “It’s ok if you’re not creating right now. It’s ok if you’re frozen/depressed/anxious/lost. I keep being asked how I’m staying creative. I’m not. I’m just looking for places to donate, reading the news, eating crisps or watching old box sets. It’s ok to just survive for a bit.”