As federal officials began floating the idea of quarantining the tri-state area over the weekend, one popular parenting blogger and mom influencer has left New York City amid the coronavirus pandemic with her family. Naomi Davis, a mother of five who runs the blog "Love Taza," has since sparked backlash after revealing that her family had decided to head out on a cross country road trip in their RV.
"My heart is breaking for what is happening in New York where I live and around the world right now," Davis wrote in a recent Instagram post announcing her family's decision to hit the road in an RV during the growing pandemic. "After two full weeks in the apartment, we made the family decision to drive out west so we can have a little more space (namely some outdoor space for the kids) for a little while."
Davis, who also goes by the name Taza, said that although her family had been "diligent about self-quarantining and social distancing in New York City," two weeks inside their New York City apartment had been enough. "Hopefully a little change of apartment scenery will be just what we need - for everyone's physical health, for my headspace which is spiraling lately - and for our kids' own mental health," she wrote.
While Davis revealed her road trip plans on Sunday via Instagram, she said the family had actually left the city sometime Friday — one day before the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a travel advisory urging tri-state residents not to travel out of the region. "Due to extensive community transmission of COVID -19 in the area, CDC urges residents of New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut to refrain from non-essential domestic travel for 14 days effective immediately," the advisory read. Romper has reached out to Davis for additional comment.
Before the CDC issued its tri-state travel advisory, however, government and public health officials had been urging residents to stay home and forgo nonessential travel in an effort to slow the spread of coronavirus. Earlier in the weekend, for example, President Donald Trump had floated the idea of temporarily quarantining areas of New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut considered to be "hot spots" for the novel coronavirus. And on Tuesday, the White House Coronavirus Task Force ordered anyone who'd recently traveled from the New York City area to self-quarantine for 14 days "to ensure the virus doesn't spread to others," Politico reported.
On social media, Davis' road trip has sparked both support and backlash. One supportive follower wrote, "I admire your conscientiousness in choosing to RV instead of flying/staying in hotels. Stay safe and healthy," while another said, "I'm recovering from Covid-19 right now and can tell you that you've absolutely done the right thing for your family."
Others, however, have accused the family of violating public health recommendations for flattening the curve of infection. "This is such a bad decision," one follower on Instagram commented. "You will be putting a strain on everywhere you go! If everyone did this exact move, this virus will still continue to move around."
"Reckless to post this online," another Instagram user wrote. "Encourage people to stay home, not flee if they have resources."
Folks on Twitter had a similar reaction to the blogger's RV road trip announcement. "Medical professionals are literally risking their lives and BEGGING us to stay home but I'm glad @lovetaza is getting some fresh air and i’m sure lots of good ~instagram content~," one user commented.
"I understand you’re stircrazy with kids, but this behavior is dangerous and ignorant," another tweeted.. "You are putting people at risk not only because of your behavior BUT because of your 'platform.' Shameful."
Amid mounting criticism, Davis acknowledged Monday on her Instagram Story that her family's travel plans had left some people "upset" but maintained she and her husband had sought out a plan that would enable them to travel with as little social interactions as possible.
"Before we left last Friday, a full day before the CDC's travel advisory came out, we tried hard to come up with a good plan to take our family out of the city in a way that would minimize our interactions with people, places, and things," Davis wrote on her Instagram Story. "We gathered supplies/food ahead of time in New York and took every precaution to eat, sleep, and spend all our time in an RV camper along the way."
Davis went on to say that they know COVID-19 is "a serious pandemic" and that the family would self-isolate once they reached their "new place for quarantining."
"We will not be going out, not to stores, or parks, or even around the block," she wrote. "I am trying to do my best to take care of my kids and my family. I am going to keep taking this seriously and will be very careful during the coming days and months."