‘Upper Middle Class Quarantine’: A Coronavirus Class Conflict


laptop computer on glass-top table

Also known as ‘Concierge-style Customer Service’, pandemic luxuries are amped up in-home services that are made available to any person in America who could pay. Being kept inside the house for weeks at a time can be a drag, especially since many self-pampering activities are made unavailable by the pandemic. For many people, DIYs just don’t work. The care and service of a professional are still so much better.

Queueing for luxuries? Not anymore. Image Source: Pixabay

Is ‘Upper Middle-Class Quarantine’ Really a Thing?

Mind you, these luxuries have existed for the upper echelons of America’s society even way before the pandemic hits. The only difference now is that since the demand is much higher, waiting lists for personalized services are longer than normal. This has caused an influx of people offering to pay double or even triple the price.

Here are a few examples of trending ‘pandemic luxuries’ in the US:

Personal shoppers

This is a pretty common service that even an average middle-class American could afford. Experts believe that online shopping is a new “normal” post-pandemic. There are applications and websites on the internet that provide personal shopping services. Grocery shopping is a necessity. However, there are real and unavoidable health risks from the simple task of shopping at the supermarket. These include falling in line, exposure to contaminated carts and goods, and even walking down the street to the shops pose health threats.

However, for those who want more than just shopping done, there are platforms available online that offer personal shopping for luxury goods and items. There are offers for customer-curated searches. These apps can even let users have stylists drop them DMs for tips and offers.

At-Home Spas

Self-care involves a wide range of activities, but most involve a service provider. The first, most sought after, self-care service during the quarantine would be haircuts. Weeks at home prevented people from getting haircuts outside. Anything related to the hair, like treatments and haircuts, is sought after during the quarantine. This is followed by manicures and pedicures, which are so much better done by a professional. Then, of course, there are in-home luxury services for spas and massages.

Even after the quarantine orders, most salons and barbers were not allowed to immediately operate. This is why the demand for home services for these services skyrocketed online. Just imagine, bringing the spa, the salon, or the barber to your home? What could be better than that?

“Distanced” One-on-One workouts, retreats and camps (for children)

Gyms, parks, and pools have closed their doors to the public due to the threat of the pandemic. This is why getting a good workout was difficult. Multiple online influencers offer DIY and at-home workouts, but it is just so much better with a personal trainer. The new trend now is to hire a professional trainer that offers “distanced” one-on-one workout programs brought to the comfort of anyone’s home.

Parents are just not into the idea of spending all hours of the day, every day, with their children. This is why many kids go to camps, classes, and lessons during vacations. However, the pandemic made it dangerous for children to go outside. The great thing about this is that there are hirable governesses, coaches, teachers, and nannies online. These individuals provide one-on-one “distanced” activities for children – sports, instruments, gardening, and more. There are even “one-on-one” summer camps and retreats made available for any parent willing to pay. These nannies and coaches could be hired in as much as $30 an hour!

Solo Appointments Everywhere

For anyone who could name a price, solo appointments have become a thing. People could now rent an entire moviehouse for themselves for hundreds of dollars. There are also private pools available for rent. There has also been a surge for rentals of private yachts, helicopters, and jets over the pandemic. For many luxury brands, there are also available options of solo in-store appointments in boutiques where the entire store just focuses on one person.

A Clearer Class Divide

While the rest of the world is worried about how they will survive unemployment and the recession, there is a small percentage of Americans who worry more about how to get their luxuries amid the pandemic. It’s not necessarily a negative thing, these people can care less about the recession. Not only does it get more ridiculous as the list of “pandemic luxuries” goes on, but it also gets more expensive. Any type of service usually done in public or groups may be up for grabs on the internet as a “one-on-one” offer.

It is undeniable that class plays a vital role in the chances with which a person can be infected by the disease. Who are those people who stay out of their homes to provide these services? Those without savings, who lost their jobs, who are homeless – these are the people who would NEED to stay outside of their homes despite the quarantine orders. These people would need to work for companies that offer “pandemic luxuries” and risk themselves getting exposed to the virus, so the rich could stay in their homes.

Also Read: The Worst Places to Be in the US During the Pandemic


Anne

Civil Engineer by profession, Writer by passion. Serving readers since 2014 on different niches like Science, Current Events, Tech, and Travel.

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