COVID-washing

How ‘COVID-washing’ became the new greenwashing: Hardly surprising but still disgusting, companies are selling a bunch of snake-oil.

Capitalizing on the unspoken implications of phrases like “immune-boosting” and “immune strengthening,” as 78Minerals’ Cullison does. Take Bolthouse Farms’ immunity shot, a new product that raises the question why a salad-dressing brand is making immunity drinks. The two-ounce beverage and many like it play into the belief that we can individually strengthen our immune systems to prevent illness . . . The COVID-washing strategy is not specific to wellness products; it has also made its way into fashion. “Virus-fighting” denim stands out for being so bewilderingly (and hilariously) deplorable. 

For my money, the worst part of this isn’t so much this cheap con-game. It’s “the belief that we can individually strengthen our immune systems to prevent illness.” That sort of thinking is both symptom and cause of the sort of neoliberal horseshit that kills people, pulls societies apart, divides the world into winners and losers, and makes collective responses to collective problems impossible. Your immune system is not a function of your wise shopping choices. That’s not how this works. That’s not how any of this works.

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