There was a time not long ago in our history that a celebrity who's been famous since she was a child star, starred in a popular series about magical witch sisters and designed a line of MLB apparel for women would announce she's tested positive for the antibodies of a disease that's killed 155,000 Americans and you could guarantee a massive outpouring of sympathy. But we don't live in that world anymore.
Alyssa Milano just told People magazine:
[S]he continued to live with “lingering symptoms like, vertigo, stomach abnormalities, irregular periods, heart palpitations, shortness of breath, zero short term memory, and general malaise” for the past four months and decided to take another antibody test at a lab where blood is drawn to be sure of her diagnosis.
“I am POSITIVE for covid antibodies,” she shared, posting a screenshot of her latest test results. “I had Covid19.” ...
“I also want you to know, this illness is not a hoax. I thought I was dying. It felt like I was dying,” she said.
So brace yourself for the empathy deluge. A virtual tsunami of support, amirite? Not necessarily. Not in 2020 America.
Note that I am not endorsing these Tweets or questioning Alyssa Milano's claim she's got Covid antibodies. If you think I'm ready to put my job on the line only to have her end up in intensive care, you've come to the wrong post, my friend. I'm just an anthropologist, holding up a mirror to our civilization.
First came the Twitters blaming Milano for wearing a style but essentially worthless knitted mask:
Then the ones who questioned her timing, coming right after it was announced they're finally doing that "Who's the Boss" reboot that nobody was clamoring for:
And then came the deep dives from people skeptical about the timeline of her illness:
I repeat, because it bears repeating, I'm not questioning the validity of Alyssa Milano's assertion she's been sick since mid-March and felt like she (her words) "was dying." I'm just fascinated by how we can live in a time where everything is so politicized - even someone's claims of having a deadly virus- that half the world will believe you and the other half will say you're lying, based on what party you support. Maybe it's always been like this to some extent, but it doesn't feel like it. And to be honest with you, I don't see any way the country comes back from how divided we are.
Still, this will be interesting to see going forward. Either Milano's positive test is a hoax like these Twitter droids claim, or a bunch of anonymous people have accused a sick woman of faking having a killer virus in order to promote a sitcom. However it plays out is going to be interesting. Welcome once again to 2020, the show that never ends.