Something Navy’s Arielle Charnas came under fire this week after writer Sophie Ross did a Twitter deep dive into Charnas’ behavior in the weeks since she first tested positive for coronavirus.
Arielle Charnas and her dangerous and bizarre behavior surrounding her COVID-19 diagnosis: A THREAD
— Sophie Ross (@SophRossss) March 30, 2020
“Arielle was back to normal posting as per usual” tweeted Ross, “playing with her kids, hanging around her nanny etc. Not sure why a COVID+ person wouldn’t completely self-isolate. I’m not a mom but it seems like a no brainer?? QUARANTINE YOURSELF.”
In another tweet, she wrote, “Arielle’s now back to posting (in Chanel ofc!) as if nothing happened. No apology. No acknowledgement of the 1000s of former fans asking for answers. No accountability. Arielle flounced around NY “with COVID” in front of her 1.3 million followers. Disgusting, irresponsible, etc.”
Even Page Six also called Charnas out for fleeing to the East End with her family, despite most experts advice that she and her family should have remained in quarantine for two weeks.
Charnas’ full written statement is below.
I am not writing this to make excuses and I am not searching for validation; I want to share the truth behind the story and above all else, express my sincerest remorse.
I apologize to anyone that I unintentionally harmed in the course of my decision making. For most of us, March 11 marked the beginning of what would become our painful new normal- headline after headline made the situation more frightening. At that point, I was experiencing the same fear, panic and worry the entire country has been feeling ever since.
You’ve likely read stories about my recent life choices in the media and other social channels over the past few weeks. And I get it. I’m in the public eye and I’ve built my career on letting people into basically every part of my life. I’ve always had my critics and I’ve accepted that. It’s part of what I do. But this month, the critics’ voices have been very loud, hurtful and largely misinformed. I’ve been accused of falsifying my own test results which is unequivocally untrue. I’ve also been receiving death threats against my entire family including my two young daughters. At this point, all I can do from here is tell you how I came to reach the decisions that are very validly being questioned — decisions that were often made behind the curtain of social media — and why I made them in the best interest of my family and my community.
When I started to share my personal health updates, it was done with the intention to keep a sense of normalcy during a time where everything felt upside down. When I was documenting what I was going through, it was because I didn’t actually know what I was dealing with. I didn’t know I had potential symptoms of coronavirus because what I heard on the news was very different from what I was feeling. COVID-19 was still so new and information wasn’t readily available. If those symptoms were in fact coronavirus, I wanted to share with my followers what I was feeling in case it could possibly help others get in touch with the right health professionals or know they were potentially contagious. I knew I couldn’t be the only one experiencing symptoms or thinking about what to do, how to protect my family and what the logical next steps should be.
After tracking my symptoms that began on March 13, noticing they were also beginning to affect my husband and a cherished member of our family, our nanny of two years, I first reached out to my pediatrician on March 16 because I was most concerned about my children. After speaking with her, she advised me to stay away from the kids as best as I could while I had a fever; it sounded like the flu to her, she told me. Being the anxious mother I am, I wasn’t comfortable with a single opinion. In desperation, I reached out to a doctor I had previously met to ask for his advice. After sharing my symptoms, he said it could very well be coronavirus and that I was eligible for both tests through his practice.
We count ourselves as being incredibly fortunate to have had such prompt access to medical care and understand that is far from the reality for the vast majority of people in this country. I shared this experience with my followers because it’s what I always do, and I had, maybe naively, hoped that others would be able to find available testing facilities near them.
With my husband, our nanny and me now all sick, there were not yet recommended childcare guidelines to help us figure out how to properly care for our girls. Our Nanny, of course, had the choice to return home but decided to quarantine with us as to not potentially infect others. She is a part of our family and her health is of utmost importance. We would have kept paying her regardless. At the time, children were deemed low-risk for contracting the virus, so I moved forward to best maintain a sense of routine—again, for our girls. I completely acknowledge I made mistakes throughout this process. I was sick and scared, and even with our access to healthcare, there were and continue to be few answers available about the virus.
When we got word on March 19 that I had tested positive for COVID-19, I followed all of our doctor’s recommendations to a tee, which were also the recommendations alsoput forth by the CDC. My family and I continued to quarantine within our Manhattan home for 14 days from the onset of symptoms on March 13, and did not leave the premises.
Once we properly monitored our symptoms and determined that a) we had no fever for at least 72 hours, b) all symptoms had improved and c) at least seven days had passed since our symptoms first appeared, we decided to leave the city, after several consultations with doctors who granted us permission. This was still seven days after the CDC’s recommended timeframe to discontinue home isolation. New York City is dense, with the highest number of cases in the U.S., and we felt that it would be safer for us to resume our lives while continuing to quarantine elsewhere. That includes our nanny, who we love dearly and who has been with us every step of the way.
We are and have always been committed to taking proper precautions, again through our ongoing conversations with medical professionals, to leave Manhattan without coming into contact with any individual from point A to point B. Our car had a full tank — we did not stop for any gas along the way and had all essentials delivered to our home, while always maintaining the appropriate social distance. The house we moved into is on a new, largely unoccupied street with little to no car or foot traffic. Besides us, there is only one other family currently residing on the block, whom we let know of our situation (again, while remaining more than six feet apart), so that they could take the proper precautions. We have since taken every measure to ensure we did not and will not come into further contact, six feet apart or otherwise, with any other individual for the foreseeable future.
All around the world, we are learning to adjust to the realities of life during a pandemic, and my family has made the decision to do so in the Hamptons. I know that a lot of New Yorkers have made the decision to do the same, and that this decision has faced legitimate criticisms in its own right. I can only speak for my family when I say that our standing concern lies in whether or not we are continuing to put others at risk. We have learned firsthand that what happens after you first test positive for COVID-19, then complete the necessary quarantine, is still unknown. But based on the facts available to us right now, as well as throughout our experience in the last several weeks, I’m confident this was the right move to reduce potential spread. Our care team, who helped us reach this decision, will agree with me.
Through all of this, I’ve learned that the reality of the career and life path I’ve chosen for myself comes with a powerful responsibility. In times of crisis, opening up about every aspect of your life is hard. Continuing to be honest in light of ongoing disapproval is even harder. We are all human. We all make mistakes, including me, especially when a crisis such as this is developing so quickly. My family and I are truly sorry to those we have offended for not appearing to be taking this crisis gravely seriously, and we are committed to making informed, responsible decisions moving forward.