Friends star Jennifer Aniston came late to the internet, only launching her Instagram in late 2019. As of the weekend following Christmas 2020, however, she'd be forgiven for having second thoughts, since she now knows what it feels like when your fans flip on you for putting one foot wrong.
Aniston posted an Instagram story on Christmas day that featured a beautifully-made wooden ornament with a pretty unfortunate legend: "Our first pandemic 2020."
As of December 27, 2020, the novel coronavirus pandemic has killed nearly 330,000 Americans. While record-keeping from 102 years ago was notoriously inaccurate, this still puts COVID-19 on a path to eclipsing the death toll from the 1918 Spanish Influenza pandemic, which killed nearly 650,000 in the United States alone.
So naturally, Aniston's Insta story did not go over well online.
Then again, Aniston has been an icon since the 90s and she has a considerable fandom. Many could not tolerate her getting roasted for one misstep and came to her defense.
Fact is, the pandemic is ongoing and getting worse in many places with the emergence of new coronavirus strains in the UK and South Africa that are more easily transmitted than the first pathogen scientists identified in early 2020.
Jennifer Aniston has never been known for being particularly controversial, so it's likely this will blow over completely. But there's a solid lesson for everyone in her experience: It's still too soon to find much humor in anything related to COVID-19.