The Uber-Stylish Coping Mechanisms of Celebs during the COVID Pandemic
While the rest of us confront the pandemic, the wealthy don face masks, board private jets and head for safety. Flight is the first response to the pandemic by the super-rich, provided they avoid rubbing shoulders with the plebs. Coronavirus respects neither the professional, social, or racial boundaries. Despite a pandemic, F Scott Fitzgerald observed that the rich “are very different from you and me”. While most of us panic about inadequate toilet paper or whether work from home is feasible, those with millions, are busy with other arrangements.
Given the choice between fight or flight, it’s the flight option that is preferred by the wealthy. Private travel via jets is booming, with 10x increase in bookings which allow travellers to avoid large airport hub entry-points for coronavirus, avoiding contact with strangers.
Location, location, location!
It helps to have somewhere safe to go with New Zealand heading the list for Silicon Valley billionaires like Facebook investor Peter Thiel, owning 193 hectares in the pristine South Island. A well-stocked country home is a good option. Escaping to your country house in Gloucestershire or Idaho, is among the popular ways of avoiding the pandemic, or heading for the hills. At a memorial for a colleague, there was no handshaking and plenty of Aesop hand-cleansers everywhere. People were heading out of London, or considering doing so or self-isolating. The phony war is about avoiding infection and keeping away from people.
Different Strokes for Different People?
What matters now is who you know and having friends in high places. After initially downplaying the pandemic, the Trump administration lost no time to ensure testing availability for political loyalists. Two prominent Republicans, North Carolina’s Mark Meadows and Matt Gaetz of Florida and the incoming chief of staff at White House tested positive after exposure to a carrier at the Annual Conservative Conference close to Washington DC. Both said they exhibited no symptoms of illness, in apparent defiance of the government recommendations to prioritize testing for in-hospital patients who have exhibited symptoms, the elderly and those who have underlying health issues.
Face mask Issues
If a plane is grounded, or forced to mix with hoi polloi, ubiquitous face masks help. The ex-US Surgeon General had even urged the public on Twitter to stop buying masks. Naomi Campbell boarded a jet in Los Angeles, fully dressed in a white protective suit and a 3M N95 mask, (hospital-grade) that were in short supply. Campbell’s outlandish apparel was followed a selfie taken by Paris-bound actress Gwyneth Paltrow adorning an urban air mask by Airinum, a Swedish company. The prescient 2011 drama Contagion with a deadly viral outbreak starred Paltrow. “Neither Paranoid? Panicked? Placid? Pandemic? Prudent? Propaganda?” wrote Paltrow, going ahead to sleep wearing this on the plane. “As in this movie, stay safe, don’t shake hands and ash hands frequently.”
Money cannot buy love
Sadly, wher ever the ultra-rich go, they take “themselves” with them. Quarantining is difficult for wealthy couples quarantined at home and dealing with intimacy issues, not faced by the jet set. This may destroy their marriages as well-heeled wives and husbands, who travel led relentlessly earlier, are now being forced to spend much time with their spouses! An unhappy situation?
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