U-Hauls full of hazmat suits and whiskey headed for the Hamptons, $1,000 pre-quarantine facials: An inside look at how the elite are preparing for the coronavirus pandemic

U-Hauls full of hazmat suits and whiskey headed for the Hamptons, $1,000 pre-quarantine facials: An inside look at how the elite are preparing for the coronavirus pandemic


Courtesy of Julie Macklowe

Julie Macklowe and her daughter modeling two of the disposable face masks Macklowe bought for $30 each at an Upper East Side pharmacy.

  • NYC-based whisky maker, Julie Macklowe, rented a U-Haul truck to transport hazmat suits and 15 air purifiers to her Hamptons beach house.  
  • One California-based family order half a million calories worth of freeze dried food and oxygen concentrators to prep for the pandemic.
  • Manhattan's elite are going in for $1,000 pre-quarantine facials. 
  • One family spent $16,000 on a swing set for their children to fight boredom while holed up at home.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

On Monday morning, 42-year-old Julie Macklowe loaded up a rented U-Haul truck with the necessities: canned food, rice, 200 bottles of whisky, Clorox wipes, a pack of 10 disposable face masks she purchased for $300 at an Upper East side pharmacy and 15 Molekule air purifiers, one for every room in her Sagaponack house.  

"I spent $100 on disposable Ebola hazmat suits that I bought from a website called Global Industrial," said Macklowe, founder of an eponymous whisky label, who fled her Park Avenue apartment to seek refuge from the coronavirus. "I got enough for all of us and my employees, but we'll need more if someone gets ill." 

But certain items remain unattainable, even for the elite. "If I could get a respirator, I would," said Macklowe, who still manages to look on the bright side.

"[The prep] costs less than going to Aspen would've cost me."


While average Americans are scrounging what's left of toilet paper, the wealthy are prepping in their own A-list way, spending exorbitant amounts of money on desert vacation homes, pre-lockdown facials and filet mignon white-glove deliveries. According to a report revealed by Staance last week, the average American has spent $161 on Coronavirus preparation supplies - just a fraction of what the 1 percent have been shelling out over the past few weeks.

Half a million calories worth of freeze dried food, a kegerator, pulse oximeters and oxygen concentrators 

One family in Pacific Palisades, California, spent $5,000 worth of food and supplies when they began prepping for the pandemic one month ago.

"I ordered a two-month supply, which is half a million calories, of freeze dried food that will last 25 years," said the 40 year-old husband who asked to remain anonymous for professional reasons.

"I ordered enough food to feed one person for six months," he said of his $1,500 order that included creamy stroganoff, powdered whey milk and buttermilk pancakes. He also purchased 100 pounds of meat and a Nesco vacuum sealer for $100 to deep freeze his protein. "I'll be able to make a thousand tacos," he said. 

"We've got a kegerator and 11 gallons of beer, pulse oximeters and oxygen concentrators in case of a ration in healthcare," he continued. Additionally, he's waiting on an order of Chloroquine, a drug that could potentially help curb COVID-19 symptoms that his friend ordered from India, which he says might be helpful if anyone in his family actually contracts the coronavirus. 



Courtesy of source

One family purchased an oxygen concentrator, along with half a million calories worth of freeze dried food.

That's not all he's shelling out for. With the premonition that he and his family would be stuck at home for the foreseeable future, he has spent several thousand dollars readying his home.

"We had our entire house repiped," he said.

Private tutoring for out-of-school kids 

Last week, when Kerri C., a mother of two in Los Angeles, learned that her children's schools would be closed indefinitely, she decided to pony up $100 per day for a former elite private school headmaster to teach her kindergarteners for a few hours each week.

"I want them to have something to do and not fall totally behind. Plus, with museums and public places being off limits, this seems like a great, safe, option," said Kerri, an insurance executive, whose children will be taught alongside two other students at the headmaster's home. 


"The headmaster has asked that each child bring their own water bottle and snack, as well as hand sanitizer and she's instituting a shoes-off policy at the front door. All of the parents participating have agreed to be on a quarantine lockdown in their homes, aside from attending this session," said Kerri. 

After all, for the upper echelon, e-learning just doesn't cut it.

White-glove meat delivery for in-the-know customers

Nor does canned tuna fish.

Mark Seigel, owner of Mark's Quality Meats & Seafood in NYC, says he's seeing a surge in business as wealthy clients, including F-Factor's Tanya Zuckerbrot, fill their freezers with marinated baby back ribs, 35-day dry-aged NY strip steaks and dover sole.

"My customers are millionaires and billionaires who are stocking up before they leave the city and head to their summer homes where it's less crowded and they have more space," Seigel said. "Someone just offered me double the amount of money to give me the meat off my truck. I said, 'That's not my style.'"



In the last few days, he's fulfilled white glove deliveries in the Hamptons, Westchester, Connecticut and New Jersey with most of his clientele spending $2,000 to $4,000 on prime cuts of meat. 

Others are relying on personal chefs to deliver premade meals to their homes. Zoe, a mother of three in Los Angeles, has purchased freezable, four-person $120 meals that are "glove-made" by Hautechefs, a local catering and private chef company whose celebrity clientele includes Jenna Dewan and James Van der Beek.  

"Last night we got steak, mashed potatoes, pita chips with hummus and chocolate chip cookies, I feel like $120 for that is cheap," said Zoe, who asked that only her first name be used.

The rich get beautiful before getting lost 

And just because Manhattan's elite are preparing for lockdown, doesn't mean that vanity goes out the window.


Ivan Pol of The Beauty Sandwich, a non-toxic, celebrity red carpet skin procedure beloved by Rachel Zoe, Diane von Furstenberg and Chiara Ferragni, was booked solid last week for a pre-quarantine pop-up in NYC.  Dozens of in-the-know clients flocked to his suite at the Peninsula hotel where he offered treatments like "The Signature," a full face treatment for $1,000 and "The Tour de Force," a full face and neck treatment which costs $1,400.


Ivan Pol

Stephen Buksen

Last week, clients flocked to Ivan Pol for four-figure facials before they left town to flee the coronavirus.

"My treatments don't involve steam or extractions, so it's a much safer facial to do during this time because all it involves is thermal heat," Pol claimed, adding that he's always worn a mask and gloves during his treatments.

"Everything I do is non-invasive and very gentle, but people have been more open to doing the Triple Threat, which leaves some redness, since the coronavirus hit as they're going to be in hiding," Pol said.


Spending big on leisure

Jennifer P., 34, is heading to Palm Springs at the top of April where she is renting a golf course-adjacent home for $12,000 a month.

"Instead of being locked in our house, bored, with nothing to do, we'd rather rent a house with a pool and a tennis court so we can try to enjoy our time," Jennifer said. The mother of one, who asked that her last name not be used for fear of being socially chastised, says she plans to use Instacart and Amazon Fresh to have food, drinks and other necessities delivered. Her daily schedule is set to include sipping margaritas poolside. 

Meanwhile, Ashley E., a mother of three in Southern California says she's ordering a CedarWorks playset for her children. The price? $16,000. 


Courtesy of CedarWorks

This $16,000 playset is guaranteed to keep pampered kids occupied while under lockdown.

"What am I gonna do? Tell my three and five year old that they can't climb anything or go down a slide for six months?" Ashley asked. 


While luxe prepping may have seemed over-the-top a few weeks or even days ago, Macklowe says she was ahead of the curve.

"Everyone said I was being ridiculous, but now they're wishing they had listened to me," she said, attributing much of her early planning to her Chinese nanny. 

"She was reading the blogs to me early, so we realized how bad this could get and we got scared early," said Macklowe.

"I only wish I had shorted the stock market."