Pandemic: a massive kick in the teeth from the wealthy influencers

Sussex student Jenny Bathurst has been writing for us about pandemic life since lockdown began back in March.

Jenny Bathurst
Jenny Bathurst

The pandemic robbed her of the chance to sit A levels. But she ended up with three As and is now studying journalism at the University of Brighton (Eastbourne campus).

Here is her latest contribution.

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"Despite the fact that leaving the house at any point in the past week has resulted in my face feeling bitten and my fingers frozen, the amount of snow that has fallen where I live has been disappointingly minimal. Waking up to excitable messages of “IT’S SNOWING!!!” with every winter-themed emoji imaginable has on numerous occasions caused me to launch out of bed to see the same view out of my window without a fleck of white in sight, yet still the unbearable cold remains. I would be lying if I told you that I hadn’t felt waves of envy whilst swiping through Instagram posts of friends in other counties sledging and building snowmen when the only thing my trainers got caked in on my afternoon walk was icy mud.

"It is not difficult at the moment to feel resentful about the situation of other individuals in this pandemic. We can be told a hundred times that comparison doesn’t get us anywhere and that it is the thief of joy, but it certainly doesn’t stop us from experiencing it all the same. When New Zealand was declared Covid-19 free due to the government’s smart and decisive approach, I began to feel envy towards people I had never met and a country I had never visited. ‘How come we didn’t act as fast as New Zealand?’ ‘Imagine the freedom they have now, and we can’t even have a coffee with a friend.’ If it wasn’t for the news I would never have known or needed to know about this unexpected advance for the Pacific island, but instead it simply forced me to create a comparison that disheartened me entirely about the current state of the United Kingdom.

"I am sure that many of you are familiar with the backlash that a vast number of individuals have received surrounding their ‘essential’ holidays to Dubai, following a surplus of sunset and bikini photos overwhelming the social media accounts of many well-known influencers. I believe it would be a struggle to find any member of the public who has tried desperately to stick to lockdown rules who is not frustrated by the carelessness portrayed that is, to an extent, pitiful. For many bystanders this anger is not a product of jealousy, but of fear and exasperation. Although this is one of the biggest cliches of the last year, we really are all in this together, and to see that the time you have spent in isolation is being practically undone by wealthy influencers can be a massive kick in the teeth.

"To suggest that we should stop comparing ourselves to others is a completely unrealistic notion, because it is simply too challenging. The phrase, “the grass is always greener on the other side”, springs to mind, primarily because in the majority of instances it is true. Because those whose lives we scrutinise and envy, the chances are, they feel exactly the same way towards us."