In the Japanese tea ceremony, guests, to enter the tea house, must come in through the nijiriguchi, the crawl door. Even mighty lords must crawl when they are guests at the tea house. Mighty lords turn back into mighty lords when the ceremony is over, of course, but – the teamaster hopes – they will remember that there is something beyond their rule.
The Trump administration, rejoicing over the fall of their enemy Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, planned a great ceremony to introduce their replacement for Justice Ginsburg, chosen to undo everything Justice Ginsburg stood for. They held the ceremony in the open, in the White House Rose Garden, and observed inadequate precautions against COVID-19. Unmasked people sat closely and embraced each other after the ceremony. Then they went inside the White House to schmooze.
As a result, 25 people so far are known to be infected: Donald Trump himself, Melania Trump, Bill Stepien (Donald Trump’s Campaign Manager), Hope Hicks, Kellyanne Conway, NJ Gov. Chris Christie, Sen. Mike Lee, Sen. Thom Tillis, Sen. Ron Johnson, Ronna McDaniel (RNC Chair), Fr. John Jenkins (Notre Dame president), 3 WH reporters, 11 Cleveland debate staff. There are probably dozens more.
Notre Dame student newspaper: “Notre Dame students are prohibited from gathering in large groups or removing their masks in public regardless of their surveillance test results. Students, faculty and staff are also discouraged from leaving campus or gathering in large groups off-campus, which is exactly what Jenkins did Saturday in D.C. Further, students have been threatened with and received severe disciplinary action for being photographed without masks in groups far smaller than the one gathered in the Rose Garden.”
The students, bless them, filed reports of Fr. Jenkins with the University’s COVID snitch site, demanding his resignation. Reportedly Jenkins has been especially harsh on students who violates the school’s masking police.
These people believed, because their privilege protects them from human law and human justice, that they could act without regard to the realities of the virus, which cares nothing for either.
I wonder what they would have done if, just once in their oh-so-privileged lives, they had entered through the crawl door.