Idris Elba and Sabrina Dhowre sharing his diagnosis

Has Self-Isolation Forever Changed The Rules of Engagement?

Online engagement has undergone major renovations since we were forced to stay indoors and secure masks before daring to step outside. The life-altering season of the coronavirus that’s still playing out with a vengeance has totally reshuffled ambitious plans that have been shelved indefinitely.

For privileged celebs and non-famous socialites with lots of time to spare and direct access to the comforts that are typically out of reach for regular folks, the mandate for quarantining is a welcome respite from the hustle and bustle of movie sets, photo shoots and luxurious getaways.

But for those of us who are desperately dependent on the enslavement of living from paycheck to paycheck, this unprecedented period in our history is threatening the weak foundation that’s about ready to crumble.

Our present and future keeps us torturously preoccupied with bleak forecasts.

Perhaps that explains the major disconnect in the way that panicked users engage on social media, compared to the more fortunate ones, who are having a tougher time winning over the same fans who used to be glued to self-indulgent antics.

From the snafu that got Ellen DeGeneres in trouble when she misspoke about how self-isolation felt like being in jail from her sprawling compound in Montecito, to the audacity of pop star Madonna declaring the horrors of COVID-19 as the great equalizer while lounging in a bathtub filled with floating petals — there’s a definite divide that must be addressed.

I’ve previously revealed my thoughts on it, but the latest controversy involving hottie Idris Elba, who rarely says anything offensive has inspired the need to further examine this subject.

The British actor tested positive for the coronavirus around the same time that Tom Hanks and his wife Rita Wilson revealed their shared diagnoses, and the breaking news was proof that this global pandemic doesn’t believe in preferential treatment.

Elba and his wife Sabrina Dhowre, who also caught the virus have both thankfully recovered, and naturally the harrowing experience of fighting a disease that still doesn’t have a specific course for treatment can elicit the desire to reassess your life in a more introspective manner.

This seems to be what Elba was aiming for in a recent interview where he shared his immense gratitude that he and his wife survived their illness. And even with relatively mild symptoms, the scary episode gave the UN Global Ambassador a new lease on life which he explained to Sky News.

“I think that the world should take a week of quarantine every year just to remember this time. Remember each other. I really do.”

“I think it’s… other species use it. It’s called hibernation. But it does remind you that the world doesn’t tick on your time.”

The Luther actor meant well, but his words of wisdom received a brutal reception from fans who couldn’t help but point out how the exercise of self-isolating isn’t exactly a convenient scenario for everyone.

There were some who applauded Elba’s recommendations as long as it meant quarantining under his “care” and “observation.”


But seriously, there’s no way of coming out of this unscathed. Our very existence has been transformed in ways that none of us could’ve ever imagined. Maybe it’s not such a bad idea to pay a yearly homage in recognition of the heartbreaking loss, gained knowledge and newfound respect for a healing world.

There is also the growing resentment that’s boiling over in response to the well-manicured pages of celebs and influencers, who haven’t succeeded in adapting to this new normal of accommodating a deadly climate that overtakes the previous hunger for glitzy superficiality.

It used to be cool to plaster Instagram pages with snapshots of casual opulence with shameless candor, and to the thunderous applause of thirsty followers who aspire for noted accessibility to scenic backdrops.

But when it all boils down to the grimness of life and death scenarios that are too real for comfort, it’s become quite challenging to skim through public scrapbooks that now serve as solid proof of how being rich beyond belief can exact blinders.

That nonchalance thoroughly offends those who aren’t able to view the silver lining quite yet.

Even the celebs that are doing their best to stay out of trouble can’t avoid slipping up when delivering heartfelt speeches about their hopes and dreams for a future that’s still disturbingly uncertain.

We are not all equal. That was never a secret.

But it seems that the drawn line in the sand is more visible than ever, especially when self-isolation can’t translate into an extended stay at resort-like compounds that in no way resemble the insides of an over-crowded jail, swarming with a mysterious virus.

The rules of engagement will never be the same, and from where I’m sitting, that’s not a bad thing.

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