Fashion influencer Arielle Charnas has shared a recent coronavirus health scare with her 1.3 million Instagram followers. Using personal connections, Arielle has had immediate access to a COVID-19 test, sparking criticism among social media users.
On Monday, Charnas, who runs the Something Navy blog, posted a video in which she revealed she had fever and a sore throat. In a follow-up Instagram story, she said that followers had advised her to get tested for coronavirus. Apparently, Charnas was not meeting the criteria to get a COVID-19 test, with her symptoms similar to those caused by a flu. A doctor advised the influencer to quarantine at home. Nevertheless, Charnas later posted a video of herself getting a test swab for both the flu and coronavirus. She explained that a friend — Dr. Jake Jake Deutsch, who runs the Cure Urgent Care facility on the Upper West Side of New York City — had agreed to test her.
Charnas’ flu result was negative, but she is still awaiting the COVID-19 results. The influencer promised to keep her audience updated.
As of Thursday, New York state had limited coronavirus testing to people considered to be high-risk, as well as those experiencing a fever and cough, or a fever and shortness of breath. Many other countries have the same practice amid a general shortage of COVID-19 tests. Against this backdrop, people are naturally criticizing those with privilege who are using their influence to get tested.
New York Times reporter Kenenth Vogel was one of the many Twitter users to response negatively to the news of Charnas’ apparently unnecessary testing.“THE LATEST COOL NEW PERK FOR INFLUENCERS — getting tested quickly for coronavirus, while everyone else waits,” Vogel tweeted.
And while most of Charnas’ follower on Instagram shared supportive messages and positive thoughts regarding the matter, there was some criticism too.
“Arielle, why did you take one of our limited tests from someone who really needs it? Medical professionals and high risk people need it. You did it for the gram. Pretty repugnant,” one Instagram user wrote.