The supermodel tells PEOPLE how she is keeping safe during the coronavirus pandemic

By Hanna Flanagan
March 16, 2020 04:34 PM

With Italy having seen the largest coronavirus outbreak of any country in the world outside of China — and being in the midst of a nationwide lockdown that took effect on March 10 — Milan, the fashion capital of the world, is in a state of distress.

Legendary supermodel and activist Naomi Campbell tells PEOPLE exclusively that her Italian friends and fashion industry colleagues are a top priority during this time of uncertainty. When asked if she’s checked in on any of them recently, the 49-year-old star replies, “every day,” without an ounce of hesitation.

“I just want to make sure the people that I love and care about are okay,” she says, not only of her friends in Italy but around the world in places including London, Brazil, New York City and more. “It’s just a time to reflect with compassion and care for everyone.”

And despite her celebrity status, Campbell is doing everything she can to stay healthy and prevent the spread of the virus. “We’re all in the same boat,” she tells PEOPLE. “[Coronovrius] does not discriminate. Let’s all just all protect ourselves and take what measures we need to do to feel safe, that’s it. It’s really simple to me.”

Anne-Christine/AFP/Getty

Given the nature of her job, the supermodel is always on the move — she says it’s not uncommon for her to travel to multiple different countries in the span of 24 hours — but in light of the virus, Campbell has postponed or cancelled nearly everything on her calendar.

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“The only possible trip that I would do right now is to go to my first home, which is England, London,” she shares. “But right now, I’m staying home [in N.Y.C.]. Basically, no one’s coming in, and no one’s going out of my home.”

The star’s final trip before practicing strict social distancing was a flight from Los Angeles to N.Y.C. last week, during which she sported a white hazmat suit, a blue face mask, purple gloves and safety goggles. Campbell documented her journey and explained why she felt “comfortable” wearing extreme protective gear through the airport in a YouTube video uploaded on Friday.

The six-minute clip opens with Campbell getting ear seeds applied to acupuncture points to help “balance the heart and mind” and “reset the nervous system,” her assistant explains.

Speaking exclusively with PEOPLE, the supermodel clarifies that the holistic treatment eases her anxiety surrounding coronavirus and flying: “It just gives me a sense of calm,” she shares. “It helps a lot.”

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In her Being Naomi video, Campbell begins by saying, “We have to do what we have to do. So today, you came to meet me. I’m in L.A. I’m flying back home to New York.”

“As this is a very sensitive time in the world, I’m not going to lie to you and say I’m not nervous to take this flight…I am,” she continues.

NAOMI CAMPBELL/instagram. Inset: Getty Images

In the clip, Campbell swallows several immune-boosting supplements, including two Vitamin C packets and papaya concentrate before getting out of her car and walking into the airport. She then applies a protective face mask and makes her way towards security.

“Made it back to New York all in one piece,” she says with a sense of relief after the flight. “That was a very surreal journey for me. I have to say, when I got on the plane people moved away from me. There was a guy sitting in front of me, he moved to the right. There was a guy sitting behind me, he moved to the right. Everybody didn’t want to be around me but that’s cool — I didn’t want to be around them either!”

“But in all seriousness, I think we must take every precaution that makes us protected and comfortable,” Campbell says at the end of the video. “I’m definitely going to be keeping traveling to a minimum.”

As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from CDC, WHO, and local public health departments and visit our coronavirus hub.

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