- Therapists for the 1% are seeing a surge in business during the pandemic, Mark Ellwood reported for Bloomberg.
- Some of their wealthy clients are worried about finding the perfect Hamptons vacation rental.
- Others are anxious about not being able to see their personal trainers five days a week and gaining weight during quarantine.
- Meanwhile, more than 30 million people lost their jobs during the pandemic, many of whom are low earners struggling to pay rent.
- The coronavirus outbreak is shining a light on the disparities between the rich and poor in the US.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Therapists that cater to the 1% are seeing a surge in business during the coronavirus outbreak, Mark Ellwood reported for Bloomberg.
While many people are experiencing heightened anxiety because of the virus, the wealthy are bringing their own unique set of pandemic problems to their therapists, who are dealing with clients like affluent couples who’ve never spent so much time alone together, Manhattan mothers learning to cook for the first time, and New Yorkers fretting about finding the perfect vacation rental in the Hamptons.
Ginger Poag, a therapist outside of Nashville whose clients include high-profile figures in the country music scene, told Bloomberg that she’s been 20% busier than usual. Darby Fox, who’s based in Connecticut and works with high-powered Wall Street financiers, said her business is up by a third since the start of the pandemic in the US.
“One patient is neurotic that she won’t find a ‘great’ Hamptons rental, because all the prices will be sky-high because people in New York City have already decamped to the Hamptons,” Manhattan-based therapist Sanam Hafeez told Bloomberg. “She is worried that the house she and her husband will be able to afford will be too modest to show her friends.”
The Hamptons, a popular summer vacation destination outside New York City, has seen an influx of New Yorkers decamping to their second homes or rentals there to ride out the pandemic. Some high-net-worth families are offering raises and bonuses to their nannies, housekeepers, and other household staff to quarantine with them. Others have hired laid-off chefs from top New York City restaurants to be their private in-home chefs.
Meanwhile, 30 million people have filed for unemployment during the pandemic, many of whom are struggling to pay rent. Almost one in three tenants did not pay April rent in the first week of the month.
In New York’s ritzy Upper East Side, one client of family therapist Resa Hayes is a well-off mother who has never cooked for her family before.
“The biggest dilemma of her day right now is which brownie mix to buy at the grocery store,” Hayes told Bloomberg. “She is loving it in some ways – staying at home, acting like a domestic goddess. But I don’t think she will keep cooking once this all passes. It’s fun, but it’s vacation-style fun.”
The pandemic is highlighting America’s stark inequality problem
Tens of millions of people in America have lost their jobs in recent weeks, with low-wage workers affected the worst.A Pew survey found that most people making more than $US100,000 said they would continue to get paid if they had to miss work for at least two weeks because of the virus, while only 16% of those making under $US30,000 said the same.
As Kate Taylor recently wrote for Business Insider, the coronavirus outbreak is shining a light on the vast disparities between the rich and poor in America.
“Wealthy people are paying private labs for coronavirus tests, taking private jets out of infected areas, and spending thousands of dollars stockpiling air purifiers, Ebola hazmat suits, and $US4,000 cuts of meat,” Taylor wrote. “Meanwhile, more than half of American jobs are at risk, with some workers already relying on GoFundMe donations and others risking exposure while working in fast food or retail.”
Yet it’s the wealthy, who are more likely to be able to work from home, that are likely than lower earners to say their lives have changed in a major way because of the coronavirus, according to a recent Pew Research Centre report based on a survey of more than 11,500 Americans.
Judy Ho says her high-net-worth Los Angeles clients are feeling vulnerable in a way they aren’t used to.
“Because of their wealth, some of my clients have felt largely invincible for a long time, but now they feel so powerless,” Ho told Bloomberg. Some of her clients, she says, are coping by getting $US2,000 haircuts.