Social media influencers breaking COVID-19 protocols sets a terrible precedent for followers



Angelica Tejada, Opinions Editor

Social media influencers have the power to inspire or change their follower’s choices and amid the COVID-19 pandemic, posting videos that show partying in crowded mansions and not wearing masks outside is harmful.

With platforms that reach millions of people, from all across the world, influencers should set the example of taking COVID-19 restrictions and safety recommendations to reduce the spread of COVID-19 seriously, even more so as cases rise across the United States.

In August, TikTok stars Bryce Hall and Blake Gray faced criminal charges for throwing massive parties, which violated Los Angeles’ Safer L.A. health order and “Party House Ordinance,” Mike Feuer, the Los Angeles City attorney said, according to The New York Times.

Hall and Gray are not the only TikTok stars breaking COVID-19 restrictions. Charli D’Amelio, who has 98.3 million followers on the app, was among the several influencers at a non-socially distanced and unmasked birthday party in July that evoked criticism.

YouTuber Tyler Oakley was one of the critics and in a tweet tagged several influencers who also attended the party.

“Hi @jamescharles @NikitaDragu @tanamongeau @larrayxo @charliedamelio @dixiedamelio & any others who have been partying in large groups – please consider social distancing, mask wearing & using your huge platforms to encourage responsibility during a worldwide pandemic,” Oakley tweeted.

A follower could see their favorite influencer partying with friends and copy their actions because they’re setting the example that it’s okay to not follow safety guidelines during the COVID-19 pandemic.

These thoughts are dangerous to the followers’ lives, as social gatherings present a larger risk of spreading COVID-19.

People are itching to spend time with those they love, and no, not time on Zoom or FaceTime but in person.

However, the risk is not worth it.

As of Nov. 12, there are more than 10 million cases and more than 240,000 COVID-19 related deaths in the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported.

COVID-19 has lasted for months and has impacted millions of lives and in order to combat the cause of so much pain across the world, it needs to be taken seriously.

Therefore, influencers should begin to put out content that encourages their followers to wear a mask and maintain a social distance when in public.

This kind of notion from influencers instead of showcasing bad examples of following COVID-19 safety precautions could lead to a change in how the pandemic is being taken by many.

Collectively, everyone should begin to spread the word on ways to decrease the spread of COVID-19 and know that when they see an influencer breaking COVID-19 precautions, that it’s not cool and definitely not okay.