It's time to reacquaint ourselves with Naomi Campbell’s plane disinfectant routine

She knew.

by Roisin Lanigan
05 March 2020, 11:43am

Image via YouTube

In the olden days, seers were easy to pinpoint. They were like, Nostradamus, you know. Or Jesus. But in the modern world, our seers and mystics are more unexpected sources altogether. Remember when Kylie Jenner said that 2016 was the year of realising things? We all laughed at her then, but look what happened! Trump presidency! Brexit! We realised things. A few years later, Naomi Campbell has followed in Kylie’s footsteps as our next unlikely oracle.

It all started when the multi-talented icon branched out of the fashion industry to try her hand at YouTube instead. One of Naomi’s first uploads was a guide to her plane etiquette. It was an elaborate affair, involving a face mask, disposable gloves and an awful lot of antibacterial wipes. She cleans “everything you touch”, the i-D cover star explains to the camera. "This is what I do on every plane I get on,” Naomi adds in the video. “I do not care what people think of me.”

And at the time? Oh, how we laughed. The video was uploaded, of course, all the way back in July, which explains our facetiousness. In July 2019, the coronavirus outbreak -- which has in the past couple of months spread across the world, affecting almost 100,000 people so far -- was just a twinkle in our eye. At the time Naomi’s routine seemed frivolous and extra. But now, as the World Health Organisation screams into the ether that we all need to be washing our damn hands more effectively, Naomi is revealed to be the seer we needed all along.

Over the past few days, as coronavirus cases have popped up globally, causing a spate of panic buying and the cancellation of several major events, Naomi’s video has reemerged on Twitter, with many in awe of her foresight. “Naomi Campbell’s bonkers seat plane disinfectant routine which did the rounds six months ago is now an instructional video,” writes one.

“Naomi Campbell doesn’t look so crazy anymore!” writes another, in reply to a New York Times article about safe travel during a pandemic.

For now, the media continues to publish fear-mongering, panic-inducing content about the crisis, and governments across the world are encouraging us to avoid handshakes and tap our elbows instead to contain the spread of infection. It’s all getting a bit much and honestly, nobody knows where we’ll end up. But if there’s one good thing to come out of all this, it’s the overdue vindication of Naomi Campbell, safety expert extraordinaire. She knew.