Former vice-presidential candidate and Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin has revealed she contracted COVID-19, and she’s sharing her story as a cautionary tale, advocating for mask-wearing and vaccinations while warning people that “anyone can catch this.”
Palin, in a People article, noted, “As confident as I’d like to be about my own health, and despite my joking that I’m blessed to constantly breathe in the most sterile (frozen!) air, my case is perhaps one of those that proves anyone can catch this.”
Palin, 57, relayed that multiple members of her family contracted COVID-19. Their awareness of the pandemic began when one of Palin’s five children woke up one morning having lost her sense of taste and smell. Reportedly, once Palin’s daughter tested positive, she isolated, but it had spread to other family members.
Palin’s son Trig, who has Down syndrome, also tested positive, even though she characterized him as “the most enthusiastic mask-wearer” in the Palin clan.
“Children with special needs are vulnerable to COVID ramifications,” she remarked, “so with a high fever he was prescribed azithromycin, which really seemed to help, and I increased amounts of vitamins I put in his puréed food.”
Palin, now one of a huge number of politicians that have been stricken by the virus, reports that just before testing positive, she too lost her sense of taste and smell.
Noting COVID-19 can “really knock you down,” Palin had words of advice regarding the pandemic.
“I strongly encourage everyone to use common sense to avoid spreading this and every other virus out there,” she said in her statement. “There are more viruses than there are stars in the sky, meaning we’ll never avoid every source of illness or danger … But please be vigilant, don’t be frightened, and I advise reprioritizing some personal time and resources to ensure as healthy a lifestyle as you can create so when viruses do hit, you have at least some armor to fight it.”
Palin also referred to mask-wearing, noting, “Through it all, I view wearing that cumbersome mask indoors in a crowd as not only allowing the newfound luxury of being incognito, but trust it’s better than doing nothing to slow the spread.”
She also attempted a joke, saying, “And history will show we Masked Singer visitors were masked before being masked was cool.”
She was referring to her 2020 appearance on the Fox show, which features celebrities performing in costumes disguising their identities. Palin, who was eliminated from the season 3 competition last March after performing her version of Sir Mix-A-Lot’s “Baby Got Back,” was quoted in a May 2020 Entertainment Weekly article that her appearance on the show was “a walking middle finger to the haters.”
Palin hasn’t been a public health advocate throughout the pandemic, however. In fact, she made a point of visiting a Dallas salon in May 2020 that had courted controversy for violating stay-at-home orders while its owner, Shelley Luther, was in jail.
As CBS News reported at the time, “Palin posed for a photo with people inside Salon A La Mode, which has remained open despite county-wide stay-at-home orders.” Self-identified Republican and dueling pianist Tim Georgeff posted a photo to his Facebook page from that May 6, 2020 visit, showing a maskless Palin sitting on a couch in the salon, flashing a thumbs-up sign, with the caption, “Sarah Palin stopped by today!”
Luther and her salon became a cause celebre for Republicans opposed to pandemic-fighting measures. As the article noted, “Luther’s case became a rallying cry for ‘Open Texas’ protesters who oppose shutdowns even as the coronavirus continues to spread rapidly in the state. Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick—who previously made headlines for saying grandparents like him would be willing to die to preserve the economy for future generations—paid Luther’s $7,000 fine.”
But Palin may now have a new perspective born of personal experience. People noted that she announced her mother’s death in January 2021 and told the publication that her father has just received his second vaccine dose, noting, “I’m more concerned about him and his peers, and this beautiful older generation’s health and quality of life should be a national focus and priority.”