Anti-viral fashion: why Naomi Campbell is the perfect celebrity for our health crisis

The model is a renowned germaphobe and has long been wearing face masks and gloves in public. But her new airport hazmat attire takes it to another level

Name: Naomi Campbell.

Age: 49.

Appearance: Aseptic.

Occupation: Model, businesswoman, coronavirus exemplar.

Has Naomi Campbell got coronavirus? That would be horrible and extremely unlikely.

Why? Is she immune or something? She is the next best thing: a world-class germophobe.

Don’t tell me – she’s self-isolating. No, she appears to be getting out and about as much as ever.

So she’s washing her hands a lot. That isn’t the half of it. Pictures from her Twitter and Instagram accounts suggest that Campbell doesn’t stray into public spaces these days unless she’s wearing a face mask.

I see a lot of people doing that. She went to the airport in a face mask accessorised with a full, CSI-style hooded coverall, latex gloves and eye protectors.

Hazmat chic – it sounds like a strong look. She can carry it off.

I guess this disease is making us all a little paranoid. The thing is, Campbell was like this long before coronavirus started making headlines, as her pre-flight routine proves.

Her pre-flight routine? In a video posted last summer, Campbell demonstrates how to prepare one’s business class surroundings aboard a Qatar Airways flight bound for Doha.

What does she do? First, she dons a pair of disposable gloves.

Good thinking. Then she rubs down everything with antibacterial wipes.

What do you mean by everything? “Anything that you could possibly touch,” she says: TV screen, TV remote, tray table, seat back, window ledge, plane wall, overhead air vent. Then she puts her own cover over the seat and pops on a face mask – ready for takeoff.

Does she know something about Qatar Airways the rest of us don’t? “This is what I do on every plane I get on,” she says. “I do not care what people think of me.”

But what was she protecting herself from in those bygone, pre-plague days? “As the plane descends people start coughing and sneezing,” she says. “And the coughing and sneezing makes me – I just can’t.”

I’m having two disparate thoughts: 1) that is totally crazy, and 2) I might start doing that. It is certainly true that in these uncertain times Campbell’s obsessive clean-freakery is starting to resemble the best available scientific advice.

If only she took more cruises, we probably could have avoided this whole mess in the first place. Perhaps it’s not too late to put her in charge of the Olympics.

Do say: “You too can look just like Naomi Campbell, as required by law.”

Don’t say: “Hi Naomi! How’s it – aitchoo! – going?”

The GuardianTramp

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