IT must be tough as a celebrity in the era of Covid. With all traditional themes of liberation and publicity shut down, celebrities have spent the last nine months channeling their attention span into all sorts of extroverted ventures.
But in the end a new path has begun to emerge. Celebrities can’t promote movies because they didn’t make any. They can’t join all their friends in a provocative solo video because – as Gal Gadot found out this week – they will be asked a lot more than their actual work. But what they can do is vaccinate. And they can break for a photo while they’re doing it.
The biggest name, of course, is Sir Ian McClellan. She was vaccinated against the coronavirus on Wednesday, wrapped in a colorful scarf and thumb-up the cameras. But he was not alone. Lionel Blair on Wednesday, Pru Leith on Tuesday got his job. Marty Wild was vaccinated last week, as did Jack Whitehall’s father.
And I don’t think I’m the only one who feels grateful that the vaccines were given to the oldest celebrities. They’ve all known for so long that it’s not about them. They have enough knowledge to know that they are sending a message to the skeptics about how safe it is by promoting their shots. There are no missing images in which Sir Ian McClellan suddenly leans, or transforms into an Illuminati lizard, or sends a tracking beam directly to Bill Gates’ personal surveillance satellite. He gave her an injection, said, “It didn’t hurt,” and then left.
You can’t help but wonder what would happen if the youngest celebrities were vaccinated first. When Justin Bieber visited Anne Frank’s house and wrote, “Anne was a great girl. I hope she believed in the guestbook? That’s what we have to deal with at the level of self-delusion. For example, if Rita had been vaccinated first, you know that There will be unmasked pictures to party.
It’s been a tough year for everyone – so hard that whenever a celebrity starts trending on Twitter, you bind yourself to the worst. But knowing that Magneto – or the back-off, or the woman away from Lionel Blair – has been able to protect herself from the furious edges of the virus is a brief glimmer of reassurance. It’s not fun, but at least the beautiful old celebrities will be with us for a while longer.
The best news though, is that celebrity vaccine photo fatigue will start too long ago. We’re glad to see 81-year-old McClellan get his shot, and we’ll be glad to have Sir Ben Kingsley, 76. But when the 722-year-old Jeremy Irons’ film begins in stages, the excitement begins. When 57-year-old Ralph Finnis will be found and no one will notice, when the time comes for 39-year-old Tom Hiddleston, people will be angry that even this has been counted as news.
That’s the way it should be. As things stand, pictures of vaccinated celebrities are still novel. But in the spring, when we present the game with a needle in their arm even the slightest public profile in an intense attempt to reassure the public, photographs of everyone are transmitted, but it will be more difficult to swallow. Right now it’s great, but enough.