- The Washington Times - Friday, March 6, 2020

While everyone else clears grocery store shelves of hand sanitizer to foil coronavirus, the well-heeled folks are going for luxury.

“The rich are preparing for coronavirus differently: concierge doctors, yachts, chartered planes and germ-free hideaways. The rich are sparing no expense,” advises Jonah Bromwich, a features reporter for The New York Times.

Among their favorites of the moment: Pear and bergamot-scented “rinse free hand wash” from Byredo at $35 for a single ounce. The company is completely sold out of it.

Then there’s a high-end air purifier by Molecule Air for $799 — or a private jet flight from Florida to New York for $20,000. “V.I.P. emergency rooms” are also in fashion — defined as well-stocked, members-only hospital facilities. Custom fitted facial masks are popular, writes Mr. Bromwich — who adds that the “germ-free panic room” is also a must-have.

“For those who really want to bunker down as global infections mount, a well-stocked home bunker represents the ultimate luxury,” he noted. “It is equipped with a negative pressure system to restrict the circulation of pathogens, and is basically an isolated guest wing consisting of a bedroom and kitchen stocked with IV hydration, medicines, lab supplies, gloves, gowns, masks, oxygen and food, as well as a set of dishes and linens.”

And forget the villa in Rome. Mr. Bromwich also reports the rich are chartering yachts to spend germ-free, pleasant moments on the sea.

“It totally makes sense. You’re keeping your family contained in a very small, should-be-clean environment. And going from your car to your F.B.O.” — meaning fixed base operator, or private jet terminal — “to your private jet right onto the tarmac. And from there, right onto your yacht, and not having to deal with the public,” Jennifer Saia — the president of B&B Yacht Charter in Newport, R.I. — told the reporter.

• Jennifer Harper can be reached at jharper@washingtontimes.com.

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