Gwyneth Paltrow is at it again. Here’s the scene for the perfect grift for our times:
Tens of millions of people around the country have fallen ill with COVID-19. Nearly half a million have died. Given chronic testing shortages, millions more have likely been infected and never diagnosed. Some of those infected will develop long-term effects, suffering lingering symptoms for weeks to months—or maybe longer.
Sometimes the symptoms appear to be direct extensions of the illness, such as lingering shortness of breath, cough, and/or chest pain. Other times, the symptoms may be more nondescript, such as fatigue and trouble concentrating, aka “brain fog.”
So far, it’s unclear how many people will suffer from “long COVID,” though it’s clear it can strike people regardless of whether they had mild, moderate, or severe disease. A project to track COVID symptoms in the UK estimates that 10 percent of those infected have symptoms beyond two weeks. A survey led by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that 35 percent of symptomatic adults hadn’t returned to their prior state of health two to three weeks after testing positive. Looking just at previously healthy people ages 18 to 34 in that survey, CDC researchers found that 20 percent had prolonged symptoms. According to other studies, people who are hospitalized with COVID-19 may have a much higher risk of long COVID.
Regardless of the exact percentages, the absolute number of people with long-term effects is bound to be substantial, likely into the millions—just in the US. The virus has spread rampantly, so even a small slice is still a huge number of people. Researchers are bracing for a massive wave of prolonged illnesses in the wake of the pandemic. And they’re working swiftly to understand as much as they can about long COVID—what causes it, who gets it, and most importantly, how to treat it.
But they have their work cut out for them. With some early reports suggesting nondescript symptoms like fatigue, it may be hard to untangle cases of long COVID from other health problems. And with the testing barriers in the US, many people might have long COVID who never tested positive for the virus to begin with, creating the challenge for doctors to retroactively diagnose them.
So basically, there’s this enormous new patient population, which is currently so poorly identified and so poorly understood that it could include almost anyone with the vaguest of symptoms.
See the marketing potential here? Gwyneth Paltrow sure does.
In a recent blog post, Paltrow revealed that she fell ill with COVID-19 “early on” in the pandemic and is now suffering from long COVID. Specifically, she says she has experienced fatigue and brain fog in the aftermath of her infection. That’s very unfortunate, and she has our sincere sympathies. Luckily, though, she seems to be managing her prolonged illness extremely well, staying physically active, social over zoom, focused on improving the look of her skin, and involved in creative business projects.
In fact, she has even found an evidence-free but certainly effective treatment regimen for her long COVID. And she’d just love to tell you about it in a post loaded with products from her lifestyle e-commerce brand Goop and affiliate links.
To help develop the regimen, the actor-turned-peddler of exploding vagina candles consulted with a chiropractor (naturally). The chiropractor, Will Cole, set Paltrow on a part-fasting, part-keto dietary plan that’s somehow “plant-based,” except that it includes “fish and a few other meats.” To complement this “freewheeling” diet, Paltrow also gulps a $102 fist-full of vitamins and supplements, which get washed down with a $60 “detoxifying” powder mixed with water.
Even though Paltrow says that she felt “energized, healthier” before even starting the diet, Cole informed her that based on her “labs” she needs a lot of healing, which will take “longer than usual.” Because, of course, who even needs evidence of benefits in the short term when you can just sign yourself up indefinitely for a pricy, unproven, long-term treatment that will pay off… someday… probably?
In addition to Cole’s protocol, the head Gooper has found some methods of her own for easing her long-COVID symptoms. Despite battling fatigue, she says she has energy and has been exercising in the mornings, including doing a lot of hiking. To keep trekking, she endorses a $220 pair of hiking shoes, a $145 hiking tank top, and an $8,600 gold necklace. [Yes, you read that correctly.] Apparently, Paltrow has a thing for wearing necklaces, often several at once. “But for a hike, just this [$8,600] one is perfect,” she writes.
When she’s not scaling mountains to combat her COVID fatigue, she focuses her foggy mind on making certain her skin looks good for her many Zoom meetings. She touts four products just for this part of her long-COVID regimen. They are a $500 infrared sauna blanket, a $98 oil, a $125 serum, and $125 overnight acid peel.
And after all of that expensive exercising, the skin care regimen, and the video conferences, Paltrow unwinds in a $125 “Goop University” T-shirt and a $32 mocktail served in a $112 glass.
And there you have it, dear readers. Gwyneth Paltrow has nailed long COVID.