Why are they given special treatment in this time of crisis?
By Morgan Hannah, Life & Style Editor
First off, let’s start by stating—on the record—that celebrities are no different from the rest of us. They’re just people with cool jobs that are living their daily lives, same-same. The only true difference is that, somehow, they’ve been recognized for their work more than the rest of us, and therefore they make a significantly larger sum of money than us. Also, they are often treated like they are important than the rest of us—yet it’s the general public (and their money) that is skyrocketing celebs to this level. But should they be treated any differently when they test positive for COVID-19? Should they receive special treatment? The short answer: no.
American cultural icon, Tom Hanks and his wife, Rita Wilson were the first stars to go public with their positive diagnosis of the virus. Somehow this stunned the world, but it really shouldn’t have. Since then, Hanks and Wilson have been released from the hospital—where they likely didn’t need to be to begin with. Hanks himself stated that he and his wife are “in self-isolation, the symptoms are much the same. No fever but the blahs.” Despite their shared age of 63, the pair have had it easy in terms of symptoms.
According to theLA Times, after Hanks and Wilson told the world they tested positive, a handful of celebrities have since revealed that they too have tested positive. This almost seems like a power play—like these celebs expect the virus to gain them an audience. Otherwise, why not keep it to themselves and their loved ones, like us “common folk” do? Among the infected, should anyone like to know, are actor Idris Elba, bond girl and model Olga Kurylenko, Game of Thrones actor Kristofer Hivju, and actress Rachel Matthews. All of them are fine, by the way…
From another vein of the rich and powerful, Utah Jazz basketball player, Rudy Gobert pulled a dick move and jokingly touched every microphone at a press conference while waiting for his COVID-19 test results. He then tested positive. Seeing how the athlete had close contact with hundreds of people, including fans, teammates, and staff, following action included doling out test kits to the whole Utah Jazz team. Only one of Gobert’s teammates, Donovan Mitchell, tested positive. According toThe Atlantic, 26,905 COVID-19 tests have been confirmed to be taken across the USA—and the Utah Jazz basketball team has used up 20 percent of the states’ entire stock of kits. Kits that are being rationed across the country. To offer another image, the Utah Jazz basketball team used a few more testing kits than a whole state did (on average).
Wendell Potter, former communications director at the American health insurance company Cigna, reports that the health-care system in the United States is basically made for the rich and powerful. This is unethical bullshit. The health-care system has always reserved a soft spot for the rich, famous, and powerful—but especially during a pandemic, preferential treatment should not happen. COVID-19 will be most strongly experienced by those least capable of fighting it in the USA and the rest of the world.
The virus has not uncovered America’s health care inadequacies so much as it has displayed them boldly. It’s looking like it’s up to us to take care of ourselves and our neighbours in times of crisis—seeing that we aren’t part of the elite. Let’s start by investing our time, money, energy, and care into family and friends rather than household celebrity names.