People don't care about celebrities anymore - but they do care about Britney Spears
The Covid-19 outbreak has changed the way we consume news.
Instead of living our lives and simply reacting when something bad happens, we are consistently waiting for the bad thing to happen. Or rather, we know it's going to happen - we just have to wait for it to be announced at the next HSE briefing.
In a not dissimilar way, people have changed the way they engage with celebrity news too. Or rather, they haven't really been engaging with it at all.
Where we once stood impatiently waiting for the Kardashians, the royals, and the cast of Coronation Street to give their ever relevant thoughts on world events, suddenly the uninformed opinion of a celebrity doesn't really matter much anymore.
In the same way people criticised Sam Smith for sharing their crying during isolation video, many questioned why Ellen DeGeneres was complaining about being bored on the grounds of her $27 million home.
They roasted every single person who lent their voice to that awful Gal Gadot 'Imagine' video. They scrolled on by when Ariana Grande was Zoom-ing her management team.
Right now, nobody cares. There are more pressing things to worry about. Suddenly, a celebrity's two cents isn't all that important (unless they're donating it to charity, of course).
This logic, however, doesn't seem to apply to Britney Spears.
Where others have waned, Britney has shone. Somehow, in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, the 'Oops I Did It Again' singer has emerged as a beacon of hope, a figure of purity, a democratic socialist queen, apparently.
If her call for the redistribution of wealth and an all out strike wasn't enough to convince the masses that she was in fact one of the more sound celebrities, it was her impromptu quarantine fashion show, or her claim that she had beaten Usain Bolt's world record for the 100-metre dash.
She later admitted that it was, of course, a joke.
Elsewhere, Britney has been applauded just for being her. Twitter users have been resharing her old music videos. They comment on her talent and stage presence as if she is a new artist, desperate for coverage and struggling to make it despite having six number one albums and a net worth of $59 million.
But this new found love for Britney really isn't all that surprising.
As far as celebrities go, she has always been inarguably likeable. Harmless. Deserving of the infinite support that she didn't receive in 2007.
Her presence is calming and non-threatening, an ideal counterpoint to the despairing news or that push notification that you've been trying your best to ignore.
Things are falling apart, but according to Britney, they might just be OK.
"During this time of quarantine, I hope you are all strong and lifting each other up," she said. "My prayer is with you."
Thank you, Britney. Thank you.