A Chilly Morning in Luxembourg

Pandemic Wellness: Pampered, Sheltered, or Shafted?

Grocery Checkout TweetWe’re seeing a weird mashup of pandemic wellness. At one end of the spectrum, wellness entrepreneurs are making smooth pitches to soothe pampered souls who see this whole coronavirus thing as a disturbing nuisance. A disruption in their carefully curated lives. Then, we also glimpse the frantic professional class trying to cope with daycare that evaporated and an endless stream of Zoom conferences to prove they’re still productive. Finally, we see people out working with the public, nervously keeping us fed while fearing for their health.

Such is the state of wellness in midst of a pandemic. When facing this virus, we’re all equally vulnerable. But some are more equal than others.

Extra Time for Skin Care

Amanda Hess describes scrolling through the wellness landscape of Instagram for the New York Times:

Miranda Kerr, the model turned organic beauty entrepreneur, is posing with a bitten apple in a leafy yard and optimizing her quarantine by “spending extra time on my skin care routine and doing a daily mask.” Jordan Younger, who blogs as the Balanced Blonde, is reporting from the midst of a 14-day “water fast,” advising her followers to “go inward” as “this time on earth is happening FOR us and not TO us.” And Amanda Chantal Bacon, a lifestyle guru who sells earthy supplements through her company, Moon Juice, is ensconced in a white bathrobe, cradling a mug in one hand and an infant in the other, her beatific gaze framed by a luxe tumble of hair.

So clearly, the wellness industrial complex sees an opportunity in the pandemic.

Trying to Work from Home

For folks who suddenly find themselves working from home, the coronavirus quarantine is a stressful experiment. The wellness routine? That’s a bit jumbled right now. Working parents are getting a harsh reminder of just how valuable childcare and education are. It’s not that working remotely is all bad. Trends were pointing in that direction for some time.

However, this jolt, taking everyone there in an instant, is instantly disruptive. It’s a shock to the system that we’re working through.

The Front Lines

Chatter about pandemic wellness is a bit of a cruel joke on the front lines of this pandemic. Healthcare workers face real danger to their health. This is equally true for doctors, nurses, and the folks who keep the facilities clean. Suddenly cleaning services are a lifeline and the folks who do this work are risk takers.

Last but not least, we must consider the wellness of grocery workers. The latest news tells us that this has become a hazardous occupation. Deaths among grocery workers are occurring and you can be sure that more will come.

When you consider the range of wellness concerns in this pandemic, it’s enough to make you dizzy. Hopefully it’s also enough to make you think about the great disparities in how we’re experiencing this situation. Some are pampered while others are merely taking shelter. Still others are giving far more than they get in return – sometimes at a great cost.

Click here, here, and here for more on how the wellness industry wants to make a buck from the coronavirus.

A Chilly Morning in Luxembourg, painting by Alice Bailly / WikiArt

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April 7, 2020

One Response to “Pandemic Wellness: Pampered, Sheltered, or Shafted?”

  1. April 07, 2020 at 3:19 pm, Mary-Jo said:

    ‘Broth with garlic and ginger’—blecchhh! Seriously, though, I feel such sorrow for homeless people, for people who are alone and lonely, for folks who have no one to care for them, and, of course, for the essential workers, as you describe, who are high risk and bearing that out. We are trying to do our part here to safely tend to whomever we can who need it.