The response to the COVID-19 pandemic has become a highly politicized one. After the CDC's initial "flip flopping" on mask wearing and safety protocols, there's been a fair amount of dissension when it comes to individuals abiding guidelines on interacting with fellow members of our species. Cloth surgical masks have become something of a symbol that probably best embodies this current struggle. And pop/country star Taylor Swift has some thoughts on it.
Entertainment Weekly had just awarded Taylor its "Entertainer of the Year" distinction. During her discussion with the outlet, she commented on individuals who choose to ignore COVID-19 safety protocols, like electing not to socially distance by hanging out in packed bars.
The interviewer specifically mentioned folks crowding nightlife venues in Taylor's hometown of Nashville and asked the singer what she thought about that particular phenomenon, given the current state of the COVID-19 pandemic. Taylor responded by stating that people "don't seem to have their eyes open" when it comes to impact the virus has had: "I mean, you just immediately think of the health workers who are putting their lives on the line — and oftentimes losing their lives."
She continued, "If they make it out of this, if they see the other side of it, there's going to be a lot of trauma that comes with that. There's going to be things that they witnessed that they will never be able to unsee." She compared the plight of the healthcare workers to her grandfather, a World War II veteran.
"I did a lot of research on my grandfather in the beginning of quarantine. And it hit me very quickly that we've got a version of that trauma happening right now in our hospitals."
And when asked about individuals who "don't care" about potentially spreading the coronavirus, "God, you hope people would respect it and would understand that going out for a night isn't worth the ripple effect that it causes."
She added, "But obviously, we're seeing that a lot of people don't seem to have their eyes open to that — or if they do, a lot of people don't care, which is upsetting."
The influential musician didn't just make headlines for calling out those who aren't actively abiding by COVID safety protocols either, she's helping families who were financially affected by the virus.
She forked over $13,000 to two moms who couldn't afford to pay their bills as a result of the outbreak, and fans have been praising Taylor for not only speaking out against individuals who don't take the pandemic seriously, but also the generosity she's shown to folks during this time.
Of course, there were some folks who took her comments as an opportunity to create memes lampooning Taylor as a scientist attempting to develop a vaccine for COVID-19. Because the internet comes up with some pretty creative and roundabout ways of ridiculing people, especially public figures and celebrities, for expressing their personal opinions.
For the most part, people were all for Taylor's remarks in EW, as well as the vegan threads she was rocking on the cover.