Opinion: Influencers aren’t taking COVID-19 seriously


Illustration by Marissa Haas.

It’s no secret that many celebrities are willing to go horrible lengths in order to stay relevant. However, many are risking it all amid the COVID-19 pandemic, causing them to lose followers instead of the opposite. 

Many influencers are causing controversy over their behavior throughout the pandemic. Stars such as Jake Paul, Kylie Jenner and Chase Rice are making light of a deadly situation by throwing parties, breaking lockdown and even hosting concerts with 800 guests in attendance. 

The amount of celebrities breaking quarantine to meet with friends or host dinner parties is astonishing. At the same time they’re posting about the importance of staying inside, they’re actively putting others at risk by venturing outside their homes to continue attending packed social gatherings. 

Jake Paul, a social media influencer and competitive fighter, has continued hosting crowded parties in his Calabasas mansion, regardless of opposition from fans, family and government officials. 

Mayor Alicia Weintraub warned against these parties and threatened Paul with the local sheriff’s department if they continued. In an interview with Insider, Paul explained his reasoning behind the events. 

“No one has answers, our leadership is failing us, and everyone kind of just doesn’t know what to do,” Paul said. “But I personally am not the type of person who’s gonna sit around and not live my life.” 

Kylie Jenner has also received backlash due to her careless exchanges and day trips with friends amid a global pandemic. Jenner warned fans to stay home during quarantine, but then proceeded to break quarantine to shop in Palm Springs. Maybe “do as I say and not as I do” applies here. 

Though, Jenner isn’t the only one out of her family who sparked outrage throughout quarantine. Her sister Khloe decided to play a prank on Kylie by TPing her mansion. She must have forgotten about the toilet paper shortage during the beginning of the pandemic. Perhaps that shortage didn’t apply to billionaires. 

Chase Rice, a country singer, performed for 800 people at a concert in Tennessee right after the state reported its highest single-day increase in COVID-19 cases. Many fans and fellow artists criticized Rice for putting others in danger. 

“We all want (and need) to tour,” fellow country singer Kelsea Ballerini said in a tweet on June 28. “We just care about our fans and their families enough to wait.” 

For decades, celebrities have had to explain over and over again, “we’re people too.” In a way, COVID-19 has put us all in the same boat. However, most of our boats aren’t three million dollar yachts. Normalizing quarantining in your mansion and risking your own health by venturing out in public to social gatherings doesn’t make you “one of us”. It singles you out. It makes the public aware of the selfishness surrounding influencers and that, at the end of the day, they are able to get away with more than any “regular” human being normally would. 

COVID-19 has had a unique impact on influencers, as they are stuck in their mansions with too much spare time on their hands. But they have also probably never been as observed as they are now. They have millions glued to the internet due to one common narrative: boredom. So, it goes without saying that their every move is being watched, whether that move is inside of their home or in public, and they should present themselves as such. With a mask, of course.