Here’s some perfectly good news: Martha Stewart got the first of two shots of the coronavirus vaccine this week. She posted a video of the procedure to her personal Instagram account, which plenty of celebrities, politicians, nurses, doctors, and laypeople alike are doing in order to encourage the practice. Now, not everyone is vaccinated in a special pod near a health facility that’s named after themselves, as Stewart did close to the Martha Stewart Center for Living at Mount Sinai Downtown in New York, but she is right on time. The doyenne of living well is almost 80 and thus in one of the high-risk categories that New York’s governor, Andrew Cuomo, just approved for inoculating. She still managed to dedicate part of the caption to ensuring her followers that it really was her turn:
“To allay your concerns that I jumped the line know that I am in the approved age group for this batch of vaccines and I waited in line with others,” she said.
Is this the new pandemic social media disclaimer? Is “I didn’t skip the line” the new “after everyone quarantined and got tested” for our celebrity brethren?
In New York and in the rest of the country, the standards for who gets the vaccines are rapidly changing, and the challenge is not only getting the shot to as many people as possible, as quickly as possible, but it is also making sure it gets to the people who need it most. In a pandemic that has shone an impossible-to-ignore spotlight on the vast health and economic gaps between class and race, you can also understand the desire for those up top to get it right.
Celebrities, bless them, have had their own trouble getting it right throughout the pandemic, what with constantly revealing to their followers their nice homes to shelter in, resources to stay put, and ability to travel. The tone-deafness has at times been overwhelming, and it’s hard to blame Stewart for wanting to head criticism off at the pass. There are definitely bad actors out there—they’re making headlines here and there—and no one wants to be them. For now, with the vaccine still in short supply, celebrities will have to walk the line between advertising one’s injection in order to normalize it, and showing off.
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