Are we waving (du)bye to the reputation of social media influencers?

Sarah Lahiri's hot take on the influencers who travelled to Dubai despite the alarming number of Covid-19 cases.

Sarah Lahiri
8th February 2021
It’s no secret that the pandemic has significantly changed everything. Everyone has had to readjust to a new way of life. Amidst a global shutdown, there is no reason social media influencers should be an exception.  

Sources of influencer income like events, partnerships, gatherings, and travel have been forced to a halt to accommodate safety precautions and like the rest of the world, radical adjustment is crucial. Jetting off to luxury destinations essentially breaks every precautionary guideline, playing a part in the spread of the virus, and risks public safety, despite giving us an admirable Instagram post.

This scrutiny is not a result of the general hatred most influencers battle as they get paid to live lavish lifestyles, it is due to the disregard for larger-scale safety. With their livelihood derived from social media, perhaps other more mindful ways of earning a living can be devised. The only way anyone has been able to cope with the pandemic has been via adjustment.

The recent backlash that influencers and social media stars received for travelling to Dubai, United Arab Emirates is evidence of this. Following their flock to the middle eastern city, the number of active Coronavirus cases skyrocketed and flights between the UK and the UAE were eventually banned.

Travel restrictions during the pandemic should be enforced rather than exempt, regardless of profession. Influencers travelling for the sake of their professional requirements is selfish and promotes the idea that it is acceptable if done in a different country. The sooner transmission of the virus is contained, the sooner life can go back to normal. Flying across the world does nothing to help this and is irresponsible.

Reactions to the pandemic were sudden and radical, but the common approach involved staying indoors and influencers should not have a free pass to flout rules that the rest of the world is forced to follow. Dubai isn’t going anywhere, and neither should you.  

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