Real Housewives Of Orange County thrive on the d-r-a-m-a. But I don't know about you, but I'm more into manufactured drama than say, drama over misinformation about a deadly pandemic. It's unfortunately a topic that seems sure to rear its head on the new season of RHOC, which filmed throughout the first months of the COVID-19 pandemic. Adding to the drama on RHOC this season is Elizabeth Lyn Vargas, the newest housewife in Orange County, and though not a single episode of Season 15 has aired yet, she's already proving to be a bit controversial among fans.
In the Real Housewives Of Orange County Season 15 trailer, the recently divorced Vargas talks about her "sexless" relationship with her boyfriend, and the rest of the women in the cast seem a little weirded out by it. Frankly, the sex life of two grown people is the business of, say, only those two people, so I could personally care less if these two are boning or not. Let your freak flags fly — or not... fly. What I'm actually concerned about is that Vargas defended her friend and Newport neighbor Kelly Dodd's "opinion," a.k.a. all the things Kelly has said in the past few months regarding COVID-19.
Back in April, Dodd called COVID-19 "God's way of thinning the herd" in an Instagram comment. She later posted apology videos to her stories, in which she said: "When I wrote that it’s ‘God’s way of thinning the herd’ that’s not what I meant. What I meant was, do these pandemics happen because it’s God’s way? I’m not God, I’m not insensitive, I feel bad for all the families that lost loved ones and I do think we should all stay home and protect everybody. That’s not what I meant and I want to apologize to anyone that got offended, okay? I’m sorry.”
Then, in May, Dodd made some more highly insensitive comments about COVID-19 in an Instagram Live, saying that "people are going to die" and we just had to deal with it, likening it all to a "flu." (Dodd later said she wasn't trying to be insensitive.) Ex-Housewives stars Tamra Judge and Vicki Gunvalson immediately condemned their former co-star, with Judge claiming Dodd needed some "compassion," because COVID-19 is a serious pandemic, and over a million have died from it.
Then, a few weeks after that, Dodd said on Instagram that "no one" was dying of COVID-19, and again she later clarified that she didn't mean to be insensitive and was only referring to the relatively low COVID-19 death rates in Orange County. Okay.
Clearly, Dodd has a rough track record when it comes to spouting ideas about the pandemic, and fans have been letting her know on social media.
And in September, Vargas jumped to her friend's defense on her own Instagram Live months after all all those COVID-19 comments, saying that "everybody has an opinion" and she was "disappointed" that people attacked Dodd for spreading misinformation. "I know why that you're trying to push the media to your opinion, but everybody has their own opinion, but it is what it is," Vargas said.
While Vargas thankfully didn't parrot her co-star's words or back up the exact substance of Dodd's claims, she did espouse the narrative that facts about COVID-19 are a matter of "opinion" when she hopped back on Instagram the next day to address backlash she received for defending Dodd and ask that everyone respect different "opinions." The video got some attention initially because in true Vicki Gunvalson form, the "OG of the OC" called Vargas out in the comments after seeing the video. I don't like when I have to agree with Gunvalson, but 2020 has been a weird year.
Unfortunately, when it comes to COVID-19, it's not an opinion that "no one is dying" — it's misinformation. I suppose Dodd's other comments could be considered "opinions," but perhaps not the kindest ones.
Dodd and Vargas declined to comment further on these statements.