There's only one Goopy way to have Covid, and that's to have had it 'early on' and been among the initial adopters of the disease back in 2020.
Presumably, Goop has been working out how to spin it since last year: what's the point in having a vagina that smells like actual bergamot and a colon you could eat your dinner off if respiratory diseases can still penetrate your barrier of light and love? If Gwyneth was one of the first to get Covid-19, what has it all been for? The genital steaming? The coconut aminos?
Last week Gwyneth revealed on Goop that Covid had left her with some long-term fatigue and brain-fog symptoms, which she was healing with a 'Longer-Term Detox' and a predictably Goopy list of products like hiking necklaces and infrared sauna blankets, all available to buy in her shop. Gwyneth's power to shock and horrify has gradually eroded over the years, but this touched a nerve: there's nothing like a pandemic to throw the wealth gap into relief.
I have a strategy that has done wonders for me over the last couple of years: whenever I see or hear a celebrity talking about 'detoxing', I replace the word in my mind with 'pooping' - which gives me the clarity I need to parse the information.
For example, Gwyneth has been treating her long Covid with a pooping regime: "Everything I'm doing feels good, like a gift to my body." She boasts that she is, 'accustomed to cleanses' and on a number of supplements in service of a 'healthy gut'. Honestly, this woman is absolutely obsessed with poop. Understanding this makes her much less annoying.
In the before times, casting announcements were fairly far down the list of things to get excited about. Our lives were richer then, we had plenty of things to think about. Now it's only either 1) our rapidly deteriorating mental health and imminent collapse, and 2) beautiful boys.
Covid has made the benediction of the Internet's Boyfriend a new cultural event that we can all enjoy, in the absence of actual cultural events. In the before times we would have waited to care until a programme actually aired, but we are taking every nugget of unproblematic happiness that we can get these days: Regé-Jean Page, Paul Mescal, Kristen Stewart (although possibly some of the discourse around Mescal's thighs was mildly problematic). We knew that whoever was going to be cast in Conversations with Friends would be the new Anointed One. We couldn't wait to meet him.
The internet was more or less united in approval for Joe Alwyn, who is, apparently, a person in his own right. The 29-year-old is an actor in The Favourite and Mary Queen of Scots, among others. But mostly he is Taylor Swift's boyfriend - a shadowy figure shrouded in myth and storytelling, a kind of muse half-glimpsed in Taylor's documentary Miss Americana, and in Folklore and Evermore, on which he receives co-writing credit for five songs.
It is possible that the casting was in fact manifested by Taylor herself, who is a documented Sally Rooney fan. And mutual stans who occupy the centre of the Swift/Rooney Venn diagram of personal obsessions have drawn several links, from the tenuous to the possible, between Conversations with Friends and some of Taylor's lyrics and songs.
Such proximity is no harm for Taylor Swift as she cultivates a more literary sensibility.
Next year we'll all be in love with Joe Alwyn. He's not Irish, but I think it's fair to say that we might have freaked ourselves out with the whole Paul Mescal thing in the end - so perhaps it's just as well.
A couple of weeks ago it emerged that Gen Z had been meme-making about the millennial proclivity for skinny jeans. Millennials, whose self-esteem has been hit particularly hard by this pandemic (because everything is harder for millennials), have taken it badly.
The furore, which shows little sign of slowing down (such is the nature of the millennial relationship with internet culture that some of us are only finding out now), proves that we really are a humourless bunch of whiners.
What millennials don't seem to understand is that we can still wear stretch denim and flaunt our camel-toe if we wish; the Gen Zs won't do anything about it; they've moved on. Skinny jeans haven't been actively cool for a number of years: it's been completely unproblematic for Kate Middleton to wear them. There's no possible way that we didn't know that fashion had moved on. We aren't mourning skinny jeans, but our own relevance.
Never, since the first teenager emerged blinking into the brightness of youth culture, have teenagers ever thought that the generation above them was cool.
It's not difficult to see why we millennials have been so unwilling to accept this fundamental tenet of getting older and the circle of life. We feel we never got a chance, and now our time is over. Though, it's worth pointing out that as far back as 2014 there were headlines reading, 'The Skinny Jeans Trend Just Won't Die'. Perhaps we had longer than we think. We are writing very sincere internet think-pieces about the emotional fallout from the end of skinny jeans and what it means for various demographics. One deadly serious tweet read, 'Hey Gen Z. I've faced infertility, PPD and suicidal thoughts, had my abdomen sliced open during childbirth & peed in a diaper. I pay a mortgage, work and school my kid in a pandemic. It's cute that you think I have time or f**ks to give about what you think of my hair and jeans."
Innocent teenagers are being accosted by millennial friends and relatives, demanding that they personally sanction an individual exception to the rule.
Honestly, this is more embarrassing than the jeans.