For most Americans, the coronavirus pandemic transformed holiday traditions. Gatherings were much smaller than typical. However, there was a small fraction of Americans who decided to flout coronavirus guidance and host large gatherings that posed a risk to widespread infection. One such social media personality who hosted a large gathering was Chrishell Stause, of Selling Sunset fame. Over the Christmas week, she posted a photo of herself amid a large, largely mask-less gathering that she later had to admit done in poor choice given the health crisis that has gripped America since March 2020.

In the controversial Christmas photo, Stause and Keo Motsepe posed alongside a massive gathering of family members who all wore matching pajama sets. Because so many fans of Selling Sunset were appalled that the reality television star would put people’s lives in danger by hosting a large Christmas gathering, Stause later updated her image caption to the following to appease her disgruntled fans.

“To those bringing up Covid concerns, I understand and agree this was not a good use of my platform,” Chrishell said. “I normally always try to be socially responsible with my posts because I am naturally a compassionate person. I can see how this does not show that to some. I understand you won’t agree, but at least so you can see where I am coming from- This is my immediate family, and we all are able to test before and after. This is the first Christmas without our mom. We felt important to be there for each other in a tough year.”

She then added, “Keo brought such welcomed happiness, and selfishly I posted in a very happy moment. Please be safe, and I am sending all my love to my supporters & critics. I hear all of you and can appreciate feedback from both sides.”

Despite Stause editing her post and inserting her disclaimer about COVID, fans were shocked that she would violate best practices.

“This doesn’t seem like a good idea. Even if you get tested, someone could still get sick.”

“Poor judgment for sure. Chrishell Stause, we all need to be responsible.”

However, many fans supported Strause regardless of the size of the gathering.

“I’m so happy that you’re happy!! I am looking forward to finding the same, I just recently turned 38, and it has taken me a long time to move past my last relationship.”

“People are ultra-sensitive about this and feel like you shouldn’t always have to explain yourself. Soo, many people around the world, went to immediate family’s homes. Let her live, man. Glad he got to meet the fam!! sending you lots of love!!”

The coronavirus pandemic made the holidays much more stressful for millions of Americans. Because it went against guidance to see family members whom you do not live with, many holiday celebrations were toned back and much smaller than usual. Few people got to have what Stause and her family had on Christmas. However, those that did still have large gatherings put themselves and their families at increased risk of getting infected.

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