Selfies and Selfishness: The Influencers Jetting Off During the Pandemic


Disclaimer: The views expressed within this article are entirely the author’s own and are not attributable to Wessex Scene as a whole.

As we all know, the coronavirus pandemic has been affecting how we Brits have been living for almost a year now.  Our ability to travel outside the UK has been impacted in varying degrees throughout those months, with government restrictions now in place stating that you should not leave home, let alone leave the country, ‘unless you have a legally permitted reason to do so, such as for essential work purposes’.

However, some instagrammers and other social media influencers have decided they are justified in flouting these rules and jetting off to exotic locations such as Dubai, which most of the UK’s influencers seem to have visited recently, despite the rules. Currently, there are restrictions on entering the UAE, and thus also Dubai, requiring a negative Covid-19 test before entering the country.

You’d think the fact that these limitations exist may be an indication that travel abroad might not be the best idea nor the top priority during a global pandemic, but they’re evidently not enough to deter the instagrammers intent on getting their fill of luxurious and exotic selfies.

In recent months, many famous faces, including Molly-May Hague and Tommy Fury, Amber Rose Gill and Chloe Ferry, have made the journey across the globe. In fact, most of the Love Island and Geordie Shore casts seem to have been over there. Amber Gill, who faced significant backlash over her trip in December, admitted that she believed it was unproblematic before leaving, and that she ‘didn’t even know Tier 4 was a thing’ when she jetted off.

It’s shocking how some of these influencers appear to be so obsessed with their feed and their follower-count that they don’t even bother to acknowledge the government guidelines which are so necessary to save lives. Many of them have justified their trips as being for work by tagging brands in their social media posts, but it strikes me as just a bit too convenient that all of them have coincidentally signed brand deals which unequivocally require them to be undertaken on private beaches and yachts during a global crisis. Posing in a bikini and brandishing a bottle of tanning oil doesn’t seem particularly ‘essential’.

Even Geordie Shore star Sophie Kasaei highlighted the issue with a tweet:

Even though she’s been seen in Dubai recently as well, at least she’s aware of the façade of productivity that her peers are pushing.

People, myself included, have taken issue with these opulent getaways for two primary reasons. Firstly, with the much more transmissible Covid strain originating in England at the end of 2020, it’s extremely selfish for people to be congregating in airports and aeroplanes while potentially being infected and taking the new strain to other countries. It signals a complete disregard for others’ safety for the sake of individualistic enjoyment.

Secondly, the pandemic has left families and keyworkers struggling with job losses and long hours working to keep the country healthy, so now more than ever, the sight of influencers strutting about on white sands with their designer handbags and fresh boob jobs is profoundly tasteless. While others are slaving away stacking supermarket shelves, cleaning hospitals, delivering vaccines and working on Covid wards putting themselves at risk, these influencers think it’s justified to show off about how much ‘work’ they’re doing sipping their Mai Tais, apparently oblivious of the turmoil they’ve left behind them.

I’m not saying these instagrammers have no thoughts or care for the keyworkers keeping the UK on its feet or the atrocities the pandemic is reaping, but it’s evident, to me anyway, that they’ve lost perspective entirely of the appropriate and conscientious way to behave at this incredibly difficult time. Their whole industry has descended into a tone-deaf vanity-fest as they can no longer see any further in front of their faces than their phone screens.


Features Editor

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