Author Julie Powell, whose book Julia and Julia was made into a hit 2009 film starring Meryl Streep and Amy Adams, died of cardiac arrest on October 26 at the age of 49, according to a new report from the New York Times. But it was Powell’s latest tweet, sent the day before his death, that has garnered a lot of attention on social media as fans try to make sense of the tragedy.
“So I woke up to something that is literally Black Hairy Tongue. People, including my doctor, seem to think it’s no big deal and will go away soon, but it sure is disgusting,” Powell said. tweeted October 25.
The Mayo Clinic website describes black hairy tongue as an “accumulation of dead skin cells” that accumulates on the tongue, explaining that although it can sound alarming, “generally it does not cause any health problems and is usually painless” .
Many Twitter users started chatting Powell’s last tweetsome suggesting his untimely death, as well as his diagnosis of black hairy tongue, may have been caused by covid-19 infection. Others, more prone to covid-19 vaccine conspiracy theories, have tried to frame death from vaccination.
Based on a search of his tweets, it appears Powell’s husband recently contracted covid-19 twice in the space of just a month and Powell herself tweeted that she had the disease in mid-September.
“I decided to take a nap and woke up sick as a dog. That’s how covid hits I guess. Suddenly like,” Powell tweeted on September 10.
A few days later, she shared another tweet about the pain of living with covid-19.
“Strangely, my Covid is getting worse. Terrible headache, cough, probable fever, fatigue,” Powell tweeted on September 13.
Many right-wing influencers like Tim Pool have taken to the untimely deaths of people in the media to suggest that the covid-19 vaccine caused the deaths and death of Powell was no different. And although adverse reactions to the vaccine can occur, they are considered extremely rare. There are also people who treat every untimely death in the news these days as something that was almost definitely caused by covid-19. Whereas it is possible Powell’s death had something to do with covid-19, we simply do not have any proof anyway right now.
The United States is currently averaging about 39,000 new cases each day, according to BNO Newsone of the few places that still collects data for the entire country on a daily basis now that the CDC has stopped providing updates. The seven-day average of deaths from the disease currently stands at 324. The United States has reported more than 97 million cases of covid-19 since the start of the pandemic, likely a vast undercount because the cases detected at home are not added to the official tally, and more than one million dead.
Reviewing the latest tweets and other social media posts of famous people has become commonplace, especially when those people have died relatively young. To cite just one example, fans of musician Chris Cornell were shocked when the Soundgarden frontman took his own life at the age of 52. in 2017, given that his last tweet showed no indication that he was struggling emotionally. But it just goes to show how we never really know for sure what’s going through someone’s head, even though we get historically unprecedented insight into their life through social media.
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