Two Influencers Receive Backlash for Leaving New York During Coronavirus Outbreak

Bloggers “Inspiralized” and “Love Taza” are facing criticism after they posted about their decisions to leave New York against CDC guidelines to shelter-in-place.

Instagram/ Taza

Two New York City-based influencers are facing online backlash after announcing they were leaving the city until the coronavirus spread slows down. 

On Sunday, Naomi Davis, a popular “mommy blogger,” and social media influencer who runs the blog “Love Taza,” posted a photo on Instagram of an RV outside of their New York apartment, announcing that she, her husband and their five children were leaving to “drive out west so we can have a little more space.” 

Soon after she posted, some of Davis’ more than 500,000 followers started criticizing her family’s choice for leaving during a time when self-isolation and social distancing is recommended. Davis said her family left on Friday—just one day before the CDC issued a travel advisory for New York, Connecticut, and New Jersey, urging residents to avoid travel for at least 14 days.   

Commenters flooded in, with some saying, “You’ve been specifically asked NOT to do this,” and “Shame on you, endangering others like this.” One commenter from Europe mentioned they made the same mistake saying, “INSANE! Absolute wrong thing to do. We in Europe did the same mistake. And learned the hard way ... you should have stayed Home ... thats the reason this Virus is spreading... nevertheless i hope you stay Safe !”

Another influencer named Ali Maffucci, who runs a blog and social media account “Inspiralized,” posted a similar announcement on her Instagram about her family’s decision to leave the NYC metro area and drive down to Florida to stay in what she says is a private home. In her photo’s caption, Maffucci said the family will be quarantining for 14 days and then driving to her parents’ home to stay there until “things get better in NJ/NYC.”

“We did this for many reasons, but mainly because we didn’t feel safe at home anymore,” Maffucci wrote in the post. “We live in a high rise building with hundreds of people and every time we leave (for example, something as simple as going to the trash shoot to take out the garbage), we’re at risk of contracting (or spreading!) COVID-19.”

She also added that their decision was made after seeing a woman in their lobby collapse saying, “I couldn’t stay there anymore.” “Inspiralized” has more than 200,000 followers, some of whom started to chime in on the comments, “Imagine being present for the collapse of a presumably covid-infected person and thinking ‘the smartest thing I could do right now is drive south along the entirety of America's east coast,” one said. Another commenter said, “Wow. Horrible decision for the largely elderly community (such as my grandparents) in Florida.”

In her Instagram story, Maffucci posted photos of making stops for food, and wearing gloves. She wrote, “Ironically, the haters are saying this is 'irresponsible,' but it’s the most responsible thing we can do.”

New York City was deemed the epicenter of the novel coronavirus in the U.S. last week, and as of Monday, more than 66,000 cases were confirmed in the state, most of which were reported in the New York City area. The U.S. has surpassed all other countries in positive COVID-19 infections, with more than 165,000 confirmed cases as of Tuesday.