For nearly a year, it has been common knowledge that the supermodel prefers to make air travel as germ-free as possible. Last summer, she released a video on her YouTube channel that went viral, in which she donned a surgical mask and gloves, and gave her tips for wiping down your seat when you get on an airplane. It was the airport routine seen around the world.
And then, in typical Campbell fashion, she managed to one-up herself during the outbreak of the coronavirus COVID-19 by showing up at LAX in a hazmat suit. She shared images of herself traveling from LAX to JFK on social media, and announced it would only be a matter of time before she released a detailed a video of her coronavirus safety routine on her YouTube channel.
Well, today that video has finally arrived. In “Protecting Myself Against Coronavirus,” Campbell brings her followers along on the journey from Los Angeles to New York, and gives step-by-step instruction for travel in the time of the coronavirus.
First, while getting her ear seeds (acupuncture pins that stimulate pressure points in the ear over the course of a few days, supposedly balancing hormones) removed, Campbell explains that she was nervous to take a flight across the country during a viral pandemic. “I’ve been doing my seat thing for like, I don’t know, 15 to 17 years. It’s not new, it was just the first time I showed it. This is all new to me,” she announces. (She later reveals that she’s been wearing masks while traveling since the ’90s.)
Then, Campbell debuts her outfit—a white DuPont Industrial Tyvek coverall suit that can be purchased on Amazon. “The thing that’s important that they say is not to touch surfaces,” she says, while trying on her suit. “A little dramatic, but it’s also important to cover your eyes,” she continues, while trying on a pair of safety goggles (a trick she learned from her good friend, and fellow super, Linda Evangelista).
Next comes the gloves—which she says she will put on in the car before entering the airport—and a Burberry cape. “This is it. This is my precaution. What do you think?” she asks. “This is how I feel comfortable traveling, if I have to travel. I’m trying to keep it at a minimum. If I do have to go, I’m going like this.”
On to the airport she goes, extolling the virtues of her routine, and pointing out that she has faced her fair share of ridicule for the practice. “Back in the day, people used to really laugh at me and speak under their breath,” she tells the camera. “Like, ‘What is that girl doing? She’s ridiculous.’ Well, now I’m not ridiculous.”
And before she adds the final touch—a bright green N95 mask—she makes the case for that accessory, the efficacy of which is hotly debated. “They say there’s no point in wearing a mask, but I disagree because what if someone sneezes right in front of you when you’re walking and you’re walking behind them? Those come to you, you walk right into it,” she says, before adding that even she struggles with resisting the urge to absentmindedly touch her own face.
The logic behind Campbell’s safety routine—that touching surfaces should be avoided at all costs—is actually pretty sound. She also says she worries about the people who work at airports, regularly handling thousands of passports and documents, and later scolds an employee—in a motherly tone —for not wearing gloves: “Do it for yourself, and for your family,” she says.
Then, after she slurps some Lypo-spheric Vitamin C and tosses back some papaya powder and seeds (seemingly without needing water to wash them down) to protect her immune system, she fastens her mask on and walks into LAX. (Vitamin C and papaya have been shown to have what Harvard calls a “moderate” effect on preventing colds.)
So how did Campbell’s safety routine pan out once she landed safely in New York? It seems her attempt to practice social distancing worked. “That was a very surreal journey for me,” she says. “I have to say, when I got on the plane, people moved away from me…Everybody didn’t want to be around me, but that’s cool. I didn’t want to be around them either!”