The Mighty Logo

Vanessa Hudgen's COVID-19 Video Ignores Lives of People Most at Risk

The most helpful emails in health
Browse our free newsletters

As we all know, the coronavirus (COVID-19), the new viral strain in the coronavirus family that affects the lungs and respiratory system, has been all over the news. Former “High School Musical” star Vanessa Hudgens recently decided to weigh in on the global pandemic — and people are not happy. 

In the video she posted to Instagram live yesterday (which you can see below), she says, “Even if everyone gets it, like, people are gonna die… which is terrible… but inevitable?”

While it’s true that death is inevitable, Hudgens’ comment is far from appropriate. People with chronic illnesses — who are more at risk to die from a virus like this — are not expendable, and their deaths are not to be regarded in such a flippant manner. Yes, we are all aware that death is a certainty for all of us, but this virus could drastically shorten the lives of individuals who would otherwise live many more years. Healthy individuals all die eventually as well, yet no one would ever suggest that a healthy person do something, “because they’re still going to die anyway.” The same principle applies to individuals who are chronically ill.

Hudgens makes it sound like the people with medically complex backgrounds would die within the same time span, regardless of if they were infected with COVID-19 or not. This couldn’t be further from the truth because there are many individuals who could live years longer if they escape infection. 

We aren’t talking about lives that are going to end tomorrow whether they get sick or not –we’re talking about the difference between dying tomorrow or having the potential for the majority of their lifetime to be ahead of them.

Additionally, Hudgens states in her video, “It’s a virus. I get it; I respect it.” The problem with this is that it’s never, “just a virus,” for individuals with complex medical backgrounds. Many preexisting conditions could easily be drastically worsened by this virus.

We aren’t talking about an individual having a sore throat and a runny nose that will go away with a few days of rest. We are talking about potentially causing permanent lung damage, having to be intubated, trouble breathing to the point of feeling like you’re drowning and many other possible complications for individuals who are already chronically ill.

Hudgens later responded to the criticism she received.

“Hey guys. I’m so sorry for the way i have offended anyone and everyone who has seen the clip from my Instagram live yesterday,” she wrote on Twitter. “I realize my comments were insensitive and not at all appropriate for the situation our country and our world are in right now.”

We need to take the situation surrounding COVID-19 seriously. This highly contagious, global pandemic, could cause significant harm to many individuals. Those individuals matter. Those lives matter. Their suffering matters. It’s not OK to call their deaths “inevitable,” and it’s even less OK to disregard federal guidelines for the sake of convenience.

Concerned about coronavirus? Stay safe using the tips from these articles:

Image via Creative Commons/j-No

Originally published: March 17, 2020
Want more of The Mighty?
You can find even more stories on our Home page. There, you’ll also find thoughts and questions by our community.
Take Me Home