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Pretty much everyone in the world with an internet connection or a friend to tell them what’s up is currently worried about the coronavirus, which has reportedly infected tens of thousands of people and caused over 2,700 deaths worldwide. Experts at the CDC fear the virus won’t be easily contained due to its rapid spread throughout Asia and into Europe, and since the majority of cases present with mild symptoms or none at all. In the midst of this outbreak, some celebrities have found themselves leaning on the familiar comfort of the Instagram selfie.
So far Gwyneth Paltrow, Kate Hudson, and Bella Hadid have all posted images of themselves wearing various manner of probably sold-out face masks, presumably to ward off infection, accompanied by vaguely anxious captions. The intention behind each of these posts remains opaque. Do they want to show us their cute faces? Or that their jet-setting lifestyles cannot be hampered by a deadly viral outbreak? Or that they, too, are in their own small way affected by the news? All I know is that if their intention is to prevent the spread of coronavirus, they’d be better off washing their hands.
According to experts, face masks won’t do much, except prevent the spread of disease for those who are already sick. Just because they go on faces and faces go on Instagram does not mean they are empowered to do anything but create a compulsively clickable loop of empty signifying. Handwashing, however, can help protect yourself and others from all kinds of viruses, which is great for me, because I want to see some really sudsy celebrity hands. They can turn the images into ads for wedding rings or cuticle gel or whatever, I don’t care. They’re doing it for the gram already anyway.