Monday, May 17

Make a killing: it turns out that the pandemic has advantages for some … | Coronavirus


Is … is Gwyneth Paltrow saying we can cure long Covid with a $ 8,600 snake necklace? In his latest Goop post, “Healing My Body with a Long-Term Detox,” he consults with a doctor about his brain fog and long-tail fatigue after contracting Covid-19. I say doctor: this is one of your favorite experts Will Cole, a vaccine skeptic who received his doctorate in chiropractic from (in the words of Is Gwyneth Paltrow wrong about everything? in the words of author Professor Tim Caulfield) a “courtship factory.” She follows her method of “intuitive fasting” (book available to buy now) cooking only in the afternoon, “using a lot of coconut amino acids”, avoiding alcohol by drinking Seedlip (available to buy) from a glass ($ 112), drinking a lot of supplements (sign up for discounts), wear a sauna blanket ($ 500), and walk around to “sweat out the toxins” in an outfit that includes 1 x $ 8,600 snake oil, sorry, snake necklace.

Gwyneth Gwyneth Gwyneth, what are we going to do with you? Her cheeky cuteness knows no bounds, and yet despite her rose-scented shamelessness, I don’t feel like getting mad at her right now. Am I going to tut? Of course. Will I shake my head with a wry smile, as I stumble through the carpeted hallways of your website, opening a door and finding a screaming woman choking on a cashmere scarf ($ 410) before I apologize and quietly close it again? Yes. Will I pause? The talented Mr. Ripley in a still image of her face and repeatedly ask her why she gave up a life of art to fool crystals by telling sad women lies about whether death exists. Possibly. But will I get mad? I will not.

I mean, not yet. Gwyneth must line up, behind Jacob Rees-Mogg and the Malaysian rubber barons who raised the price of protective gloves and Jared Kushner and all his colleagues who have also been exploiting the pandemic for profit. Last March, the UK competition watchdog had 21,000 complaints about rising prices for new commodities from retailers; in the case of hand sanitizers, they had increased by an average of 367%. A month later, Jacob Rees-Mogg’s investment firm was accused of exploiting global market volatility by investing in companies hit by falling stocks. Executives said: “Investors have a ‘once in a generation’ chance of ‘supernormal returns,'” the Sunday Mirror. The company responded with a shrug emoji but with more syllables.

Go on: for every thousand deaths, another millionaire makes a killing. The lunches provided to children by Chartwells, a government-designated private contractor to provide school meals, will continue to be one of the enduring images of these lockdown years. The photos shared on Twitter of the lunch-shaped remains dumped on the kitchen counter look like still life paintings, every regrettable object is symbolic, the scene is an allegorical representation of something rotten.

Even when there is no image attached, the numbers stick in your mind and throat. Dido Harding, the conservative pair married to the Prime Minister’s “anti-corruption champion”, has hired consultants making £ 6,000 a day and spent more than £ 22 billion of taxpayer money on Test and Trace. That’s almost double the amount the UK has spent on Covid vaccines, and more than the combined budgets for fire, police and counter-terrorism services in England and Wales this year.

And still, … it doesn’t work. More than half of the £ 18bn spent by the UK on pandemic-related contracts in the first half of 2020 was awarded without competitive bidding. The £ 186 million contracts, the second-highest amount spent with any PPE supplier, went to British logistics company Uniserve, whose billionaire owner was listed as a speaker for the pro-Brexit lobbyist Prosperity UK alongside Rishi Sunak. and Michael Gove. To be sure, dissertations are being written on issues with acquiring PPE right now, but perhaps the most irritating example was the task force launched by Jared Kushner to get PPE quickly to the US instead of distributing it as required. , gave it to six private medical supply companies to sell to the highest bidder. For this, Kushner has been awarded a “Shkreli Award” for profit and dysfunction in health care.

It’s hard to know if Gwyneth should have been nominated. How do we quantify the damage caused by your long-tail misinformation? How do we measure the impact of your ongoing attack on science or your wellness industry remarketing as a Covid solution? Who has pushed the moral limits of profit more dramatically, the claw-clad millionaire who screams about the free market or the one who seems to genuinely believe that fasting until 11 a.m. will cure all pain?

Comparing Gwyneth Paltrow to Jacob Rees-Mogg is a dirty-handed job (one is an evil fairy, the other is a sitcom butler), but take a look at the cash and they’ll burn your coat to get your credit card. Gwyneth, at least, is profiting from Covid with panache. I also enjoy a hiking necklace.

Email Eva at [email protected] or follow her on Twitter @EvaWiseman




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