While the rest of us hunker down, forgo our vacations and family reunions, and suffer from maskne (the acne that comes with wearing a mask) — in the world of the uber-rich, it’s very, very different.
Despite the coronavirus still killing 1,000 people a day in America and unemployment is at an all-time high, billionaire are throwing parties, traveling on private jets, luxuriating on yachts around the world, buying citizenship in “safe” countries and having fun on $12,000 motorized surfboards.
“Coronavirus is a poor person’s virus,” one wealthy Silicon Valley denizen told Vanity Fair.
And while the majority of the country is tightening their belts, the rich have become richer with billionaires becoming 10% wealthier during the COVID-19 crisis — and they’re starting to live in a parallel universe than the rest of us.
Among the worst violators is Travis Kalanick, the bro-founder of Uber, who has been throwing multiple outdoor parties at his $43 million Los Angeles estate (even at the height of the city’s outbreak) while another unnamed billionaire has also been partying but allows people inside — after they’ve taken a 15-minute, rapid fire COVID-19 test administered by a registered nurse.
Meanwhile, billionaire David Geffen has been hanging on his yacht, Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson are cruising Greece in another yacht after receiving “honorary” citizenship, Facebook overlord Mark Zuckerberg has been trolling the waters off Hawaii in a $12,000 surfboard, Jeff Bezos and his lady friend have been (multiple) house-hunting, buying up millions of dollars in property in Los Angeles to build a compound while traveling via private jet to several cities around the country, former Mayor Bloomberg splashed out $45 million on a Colorado compound (joining a host of other billionaires buying in that state as well as Montana and Wyoming); and others are spending millions to buy citizenship in “safe” countries like New Zealand.
Meanwhile, according to Vanity Fair, “one investor worth several billion who has several homes told a friend —who then parlayed the information to me in tones of shock and awe and more than a tinge of jealousy—that he was in Miami when the numbers were lowest at the start of the pandemic; hopped over to Los Angeles when Florida got a bit dicey; and now that California is a hotbed, is in New York enjoying the season’s outdoor dining.”
“All these rich people can’t stop themselves,” a person who is close to a number of wealthy tech CEOs and venture capitalists told the magazine. “They just can’t stop themselves from throwing parties and going on their jets and socializing as if everything was normal.”