A social media influencer who faced a major setback after she and her family fled to the Midwest from the coronavirus pandemic from New York City may now be missing out on sponsorship contracts that pay the bills.
Known as Taza on Instagram and her parenting blog, Naomi Davis revealed on Instagram in March that she, her husband and their five children left Manhattan in a motorhome on March 27 – just a day before the CDC asked New York residents to travel.
Since then, the 33-year-old – whose income includes payments from lucrative social media sponsorship – has only posted one ad on Instagram and had to quickly remove it when it was flooded with critical comments from those still upset that she refuted anti-travel recommendations and potentially endangered others.
Oops! Influencer Naomi Davis – who came under fire after fleeing NYC with her family from the Midwest – may now lose sponsorship deals
Her Rules: The 33-year-old went to Arizona with her husband and children, despite recommendations that New Yorkers not travel
Naomi experienced the first wave of backlash in late March when she told followers that her family left New York and eventually landed in Arizona.
Although they got their trip just under the cable before the CDC asked New York residents not to leave, experts had suggested staying weeks earlier and warned residents of coronavirus hotspots could take the virus elsewhere if they traveled.
Commenting on her post, critics chided her for endangering others, her post ‘insane’, ‘reckless’,’ wrong ‘,’ terrible ‘,’ dangerous’, ‘brash’ and ‘the stupidest I’ve read called. today.’
Naomi defended herself – but then pretty much went on Instagram for a week before posting photos again, and then sparingly.
Finally, earlier this week, BuzzFeed reports that Naomi posted a new ad for the vitamin startup Ritual.
Although the image – which showed her balanced vitamins on her head – and the caption were back to normal, commentators weren’t ready to continue her journey across the country and flooded the post with negative comments.
Won’t live up to it: She recently shared a sponsored post for vitamin company Ritual – sparking a slew of critical comments
Never mind! When the criticism poured in, Naomi removed the message and Ritual confirmed that the partnership is over
“Glad to break the CDC rules and endanger the lives of others so you can travel around the country if your lifestyle is no longer * aesthetically pleasing *,” wrote one.
Negative comments also appeared on Ritual’s own Instagram account.
So disappointed in any brand working with the incredibly selfish influencer Taza. Definitely not buying now, despite interest! one wrote.
“I think this brand wanted to go up in flames with Taza garbage container fire,” wrote another, and a third said, “If you really cared about health, you wouldn’t have partnered with @taza.”
The criticism became so harsh that Naomi removed the ad several hours after the ad was placed. Ritual also responded, saying that “they mutually decided to take down her post and story.”
BuzzFeed reports that the sponsorship deal was signed for the incident in March – so it’s unclear whether the negative response will hinder Naomi’s ability to book sponsored posts in the future.
Rules do not apply! The influencer left New York City in a RV in March with her husband and five children – despite warnings to New Yorkers to stay in place
But they struggled! Naomi said they went west for “everyone’s physical health, for my headroom … and for our children’s mental health”
Naomi’s troubles started in late March, when Sge shared a photo of her family of seven loading into a motor home outside their spacious home on the Upper West Side.
“My heart breaks for what’s happening in New York, where I live, and all over the world now,” she wrote.
“And after two full weeks in the apartment, we made the family decision to drive west so that we could have some more space (namely some outdoor space for the kids) for a while.
“Although we’ve been diligent in self-quarantining and social distancing in New York City, we want to make sure we still stay away from others on our trip (although no one in our family has had symptoms, you would always be asymptomatic). For this reason we decided to rent a camper to avoid hotels and people and just eat and sleep in the camper en route.
“Hopefully a small change in the apartment landscape is just what we need – for everyone’s physical health, for my headroom spinning around lately – and for our children’s mental health.
“This situation is serious everywhere and I send my love and prayers to you wherever you are,” she said.
Safety first? She wrote that they were “diligent in self-quarantine” before leaving
Not OK! Her post received many responses from critics who called her “reckless,” “wrong,” “terrible,” “dangerous,” and “brash”
The photo earned over 29,000 likes and many fans sent good wishes. But others were disappointed to leave a coronavirus hotspot for another less affected place, quarantined or otherwise for two weeks.
“While I recognize the importance of supporting each other in times like this, your decision to literally leave THE largest hotspot in the United States endangers many other people,” commented one commenter.
“If everyone makes the decision to leave New York City, the health systems of other states will quickly become overburdened by the number of cases, just as New York is now. We have been told that we should avoid unnecessary travel for nothing. ‘
Another wrote: “This is insane! You may spread this virus to other areas. This is exactly why it takes over. People have to stay put! Your mental well-being does not exceed people’s lives! ‘
“Uhhhh, this is doing exactly what they asked people not to do, for the safety and health of rural areas without adequate health care infrastructure,” wrote a third.
Not the point: Naomi said they were quarantined in their Upper West Side apartment for two full weeks before they left
The square footage of this thing! The family has an incredibly spacious home by New York City standards
Space: There are several common areas where Naomi, her husband and her children can spread out
Popular: Naomi has nearly half a million followers and a parenting blog
“So if you’re rich, is it okay to ignore your state’s rules and regulations and endanger smaller cities and communities as you travel through them, since, as you said, you could be asymptomatic?” asked another.
“I’m so afraid this decision will influence your followers to do the same,” wrote another commenter, while another said, “This is not what self-isolation should look like.”
“Shame on you, endanger others in this way,” another rebuked.
More responses have come in which have called the post “reckless,” “wrong,” “awful,” “dangerous,” “brash,” and “the stupidest thing I’ve read today.”
Some have also pointed out that Naomi and her family are far more privileged than most New Yorkers, and seem to have much more space in their apartment than others.
Several health experts have also weighed in and warned other New Yorkers not to judge individually whether or not to travel, but to simply stick to the rules.
“My heart breaks for what’s happening in New York, where I live, and all over the world now,” she wrote
Diffusion: She said they made the trip for mental health reasons, although the family home is much larger than most New York City apartments
Rich: Prior to the pandemic, the family regularly traveled internationally
Answering Criticism: Naomi has since responded to the comment with a post on her Instagram stories
“At first glance, if everyone can decide what’s safe, then we’re just in chaos,” said Lawrence Gostin, a professor of global health law at Georgetown University, BuzzFeed.
Gostin also pointed out that even if Naomi’s family doesn’t stay or fly in hotels, they will still have to stop for gas and food, potentially exposing others on their route to the virus.
“The only place where you can literally literally separate yourself from society,” he said. “If you’re not traveling essential, the only ethically responsible thing you can do is provide shelter.”
Naomi later responded to the comment with a post on her Instagram stories.
“I know our decision upset some of you and it’s understandable,” she wrote, adding that they plan to stay where they are for at least a few weeks.
“I know our decision upset some of you and it’s understandable,” she wrote, defending the move saying they did it for the CDC’s travel advice
Naomi, her husband Josh and their kids ‘won’t go out to shops, parks or even around the corner’
“Before we left last Friday, a full day before the CDC’s travel advice came out, we did our best to come up with a good plan to take our family out of town in ways that interact with people, places and things, “she said.
Although the CDC’s travel advice was actually issued the next day, experts and government officials warned people not to travel for weeks and to leave as little as possible from home – so the advice to stay in New York was hardly new.
She said they had put food and supplies in the RV and planned to eat, sleep and spend all their time in the vehicle.
“Even before we left, we carefully and fully followed the recommendations to New Yorkers for social distance and the practice of good hygiene,” she continued, emphasizing that they understand the severity of the pandemic.
“During our next quarantine phase, I want you to know we’re not going out, going to shops, parks, or even around the corner.”