The mother-of-four was of course expecting the reaction, so she tried to ward off immediate criticism with an explanation posted on a collage of photos from the five-star getaway, surrounded by her tanned sisters and beaming friends.
“There isn’t a single day that I take for granted, especially during these times when we all remember the things that really matter,” she wrote. “For my birthday this year, I couldn’t think of a better way to spend it than with some of the people who have helped me become the woman I am today. Before COVID, I don’t think any of us really appreciated how much of a simple luxury it was to travel and be with family and friends in a safe environment.
“After two weeks of several health exams and asking everyone to quarantine themselves, I surprised my closest entourage with a trip to a private island where we could pretend things were normal for a brief moment. I realize that for most people this is something that is so out of reach right now, so at times like these, I humbly remember how privileged my life is.
As is normal with the scandals that arise with the Kardashians, the ridicule came quickly and died away. In other words, until Thursday night’s episode of keeping up with the Kardashians, where Kim revealed that she and her children fell ill with COVID-19 and were forced to self-quarantine.
Buzzfeed News has researched the timeline of when the family contracted the virus, comparing vacation dates to Kim’s social media activity. The media determined that Kim fell ill about 10 days after returning from the trip in late October.
During the episode, Kim mentions that her five-year-old son Saint was the first to show symptoms, later claiming he caught the virus from someone at his school. It became a domino effect, with Kim and her seven-year-old daughter North West also testing positive so the family and film crew went into quarantine for two weeks. She tweeted Thursday that her daughter Chicago, three, and her youngest child Psalm, two, had also fallen ill.
Normally it wouldn’t be a problem to stop filming, other than maybe a few self-recorded shots of Kim detailing her symptoms – much like how Khloe revealed her COVID-19 diagnosis earlier in the season. . However, Kim was in the process of studying intensively to retake the “baby bar” exam (the test she has to take after the first of her four years of law school), which she already failed, so the show must go on.
She filmed herself hardening her symptoms, which included a severe migraine, 104-degree fever and almost passing out during the test.
Shortly after Buzzfeed News pointed to the eyebrow-raised timeline of exactly when Kim caught COVID-19, she worked quickly to root out the report. “False”, she tweeted. “No one caught Covid on the trip. Saint was the first to have it in our family and he was caught in school by another student who tested positive first. I then developed symptoms and got him a few days after he coughed me up while taking care of him.
However, Kim’s reps declined to disclose to Buzzfeed News when she tested positive. When contacted by The Daily Beast, her reps declined to comment.
Of course, it’s always a personal decision whether someone wants to go public with whether they have COVID-19. Obviously, if Kim had revealed that she and her family fell ill right after returning from vacation, all hell would have broken loose, the immediate assumption that she must have been exposed on this lavish trip.
But being vague opens the door to questions. Were other members of his family possibly exposed to the virus during this time and were they quarantined? Based on the timeline, Buzzfeed News suggested that Kim could have tested positive on November 7 – just days after Kendall Jenner threw a packed, mask-less birthday party, which Kim seems for attending, posting pictures of Sister Kylie and Scott Disick.
Kendall tried to keep the party a secret, ordering her 50-plus guests not to post photos on social media. But when the booze is pouring, celebrities are dressed in Halloween costumes, and the general attitude that the rules don’t apply at the top rung, images of the event were doomed to leak.
She dragged herself again on a video of herself blowing out the candles on her birthday cake as a masked waiter struggled to hold the cake and, at the same time, keep his face away from her.
Family matriarch Kris Jenner tried to control the damage after the widespread backlash, saying she took every precaution possible, including quick tests at the party’s doorstep.
“At Kendall, everyone was tested before they walked in the door and they had to wait half an hour until… the results were known,” Kris Jenner told Andy Cohen. “So we are really responsible and we make sure that all of our family members and our closest friends are religiously tested.”
“We are doing what we can. We try to follow the rules. And then, if people are commenting and they’re critical, I can’t control that, ”she added. “I can just control our behavior and try to do our best. “
The family’s response to the COVID-19 brewing scandal is typical of the smoke and mirror tactics the Kardashians have always adopted, striving to turn a story into a narrative that works for them.
Earlier this year, Khloe Kardashian asked her team to go on a blitz to remove what appeared to be an unedited, unfiltered photo of herself in a bikini that her grandmother posted on Instagram. It looked noticeably different from the slicked-back, glamorous shots that Khloe normally posts.
Small fan accounts receive intimidating messages that hint that they could potentially be prosecuted for copyright infringement if they don’t immediately remove the photo. When reports came out of what Khloe’s team was doing, they tried to spin it around.
“The edited color photo was taken of Khloé at a private family reunion and posted to social media without permission in error by an assistant,” a spokesperson said in a statement. “Khloé is beautiful, but the copyright owner has the right not to want an image not intended for publication removed. “
Later, the obviously defensive Khloe took to a bizarre Instagram Live to show off her belly and body, in an effort to prove that she really looks like her photos.
In an extraordinary gesture last May, Forbes publicly reinstated Kylie Jenner’s billionaire status, describing him as a “web of lies” her team had said “inflated the size and success” of her cosmetics company.
The family has long overlooked the whole truth, denying having undergone plastic surgery or cosmetic enhancements, Kim and Kanye West’s feud with Taylor Swift over the rapper’s derogatory remark about her in his song “Famous.” And a handful of other mini-scandals.
Fans have long loved the Kardashians for welcoming them into their lives in a way that felt truly real to them. We’ve seen them experience heartbreak, episodes of family drama, and the silly moments in between. But more and more, the veil of authenticity has slipped and people may simply not be interested in following them anymore.