Around the world, workers that have been deemed as “essential workers” are tirelessly battling with the coronavirus pandemic. These are the nurses, farmworkers, grocery clerks, truck drivers, cleaners and teachers, who back many of us stand on to have the ability to participate in “social distancing”. It’s their invisible labour which is so often under-appreciated that is finally being noticed as they become frontline soldiers in a war against a remorseless killer.


While coronavirus has initiated an overdue reassessment of whom we value most, it has also exposed the disconnect between celebrities and the general public. There has always been some distance between celebrities and the rest of society as it enhances their power and allure- after all, celebrity culture has always been an “artificial construct”. However, in this modern age celebrity culture is more about the falsification of connecting to their world and the friendship inferred from the intimacy developed through social media.


Many celebrities have received backlash for their attempts at offering relief. From tone-deaf performances and insensitive comments on death to almost romanticising the virus by dubbing it as “the great equaliser”. Unfortunately, the universal response has not been favourable, with celebrities being largely met with exasperated eye-rolls and intense irate from those worrying about rent, work and elderly relatives. With the polarity between the rich and famous and general public never being more blatantly obvious, celebrity consumers have become more critical of celebrity exorbitance.


As coronavirus preys on the vulnerable, so do criminals as they have quickly seized the opportunity to capitalise on the anxieties and fears of victims. From false advertising and overpriced safety masks to illegal sanitisers and fake treatments made with potentially toxic chemicals. A sustainable market for product counterfeiters and fraudsters has been created as a result of high demands for certain goods, protective gear and pharmaceutical products. With this sudden surge in scams and counterfeits, one could only describe it as an “epidemic of crime”.

Mehreen Islam, 14 said: “Being a victim of false advertising myself, I can only caution you and hope you don’t fall into the same trap.”


Furthermore, this pandemic has prompted some anti-vaxxers to question their views. Even Donald Trump (a former vaccine sceptic) is now demanding a coronavirus vaccine. With key workers risking their lives to battle this disease, this raises the question of whether anti-vaxxers can be deemed as selfish. Though the anti-vax movement may have previously been seen as attractive, will these vocal vaccine critics stand by their word? Not only is there already opposition to the unavailable vaccine but anti-vaxxers are also spreading dangerous misinformation along with” influencers” amplifying vaccine hesitancy by offering alternate “natural cures” that are futile or even harmful.


Whilst these unprecedented times have no doubt united us, it has also unveiled the existing inequalities and injustices within our society; elderly people living alone, low-income families who can’t afford to stockpile and those previously derided as “ low skilled” workers who toil for long hours on wages too low to sustain a comfortable life. We must utilise this moment of kinship and ensure it instigates societal change moving forward.

By Romayssa Sebai