COVID Not Influenced by Reckless Influencers

Celebrities’ the lack of consideration in the pandemic have sparked outrage among fans.


Screenshots of influencers partying and hanging out during the pandemic.

Jessica Lin, Staff Writer

While this new year has already seen over 106 million COVID-19 cases and 2.3 million deaths, social media influencers are getting called out for being insensitive due to traveling, partying, and hanging out amid a pandemic.

TikTok stars such as Charli and Dixie D’Amelio and other social media influencers traveled to the Bahamas. Last year, celebrities such as Kendall Jenner, Doja Cat, and Cardi B threw parties. YouTube makeup guru James Charles, who lives in Los Angeles, had several collaborations doing makeup for different influencers even though mandatory quarantine orders were in place. Despite this, many celebrities preached social distancing, and many fans and gossip channels were quick to point out the influencers’ hypocrisy.

“If you are famous, overall, there is a standard that your fans put you up to, and you will have to say something to make your followers happy,” Woodside freshman Dakota Doss said. “If you are going to say something, you should follow it. It’s hard to please everyone, but everyone should be responsible, especially when it comes to protecting each other.”

Attendees of Jake Paul’s party ignoring guidelines (Jake Paul).

Though many celebrities have come under fire for not following the guidelines they advocated, others have outrightly denied safety protocols — for example, in July, influencer Jake Paul threw a party that resulted in vlogger Tanner Fox testing positive. The group then did not quarantine, stating that COVID was a hoax. But the majority of influencers who have been criticized have since apologized for their actions.

“I feel particularly embarrassed knowing first-hand how hard people have worked to combat this terrible illness and being fully aware of the sacrifices that people and businesses have made to help keep us all safe,” singer Rita Ora said, apologizing for throwing a birthday party following a trip to Egypt.

Many influencers and celebrities who had seemingly broken guidelines were also quick to claim that they were adhering to COVID-19 regulations following the subsequent backlash. During Kendall Jenner’s birthday party in October, attendees did not wear face masks or social distance, but Kris Jenner claimed that all gatherings her family held were “really responsible” due to COVID testing.

“Everyone got tested before they walked in the door, and they had to wait half an hour until the the results were in,” Jenner said on Andy Cohen’s Sirius XM show.

COVID-19 testing during the pandemic (

Even then, many medical experts state that’s not enough. 

Dr. Onyemeachi Anoruo, who works for San Francisco’s Department of Public Health, stated, “Lots of people use this kind of sequential testing as safety, or a layer of protection against getting COVID. Often by the time someone has tested positive, they’ve already been in contact with at least one other person with whom they could have potentially [infected], so there’s an inherent delay between when you become infectious and when you develop symptoms, and one person typically tests.”

Not only were fans mad about the hypocrisy exhibited by celebrities, but they also stated that influencers are setting a bad example, as many of their fans are younger and more impressionable.

“Many people are looking up to and following those people,” Sequoia High School freshman Nana Kawashima stated. “Those influencers make it seem okay to travel and not social distance, which spreads the message that it’s safe to do it when it’s not.”

A vaccination site (

Though vaccine rollout has increased, it does not necessarily justify loosening COVID guidelines. According to the California Department of Public Health, the people currently eligible for the vaccine are frontline workers, along with people over the age of 65 as supplies allow. In the next phase, Phase 1c, people aged 65 and younger with underlying medical conditions will be eligible. As the vaccine rolls out, many people assume that life will get back to normal by August. However, the CDC states that those who have been vaccinated still need to take preventative measures such as wearing a mask and social distancing. This means that even if influencers and celebrities take the vaccine before partying, there will still be several problems. 

“When making these vaccines during these emergent times, the goal is to prevent people from dying. At that time, the deaths were coming from severe symptoms, and so the goal or the endpoint for these experiments was to see whether or not people experienced severe symptoms, according to their research,” Dr. Anoruo said. “That’s why we can’t say that COVID [vaccine] prevents the illness itself because that wasn’t the endpoint of these experiments; the experiments’ endpoint of the experiments was [to] prevent developing those symptoms. I’m confident in the coming months, and with coming research, we will say that this vaccine can prevent infection.”

Though fans are holding celebrities and influencers accountable, people must keep everyone accountable, not just those in the limelight.

Dr. Anoruo concludes, “It is an investment, doing our part and maintaining social distance, continuing to quarantine, minimizing our contact with others as much as we can, utilizing FaceTime and Zoom, and making sure that we do our part in preventing spread. So that hopefully, by late summer, we’ll be able to see our loved ones and hug our families and spend time with each other.”