Rita Ora and Cardi B apologize for their huge pandemic parties

Did Halloween teach us nothing?
Published November 30, 2020 3:25 p.m. EST
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While vaccines may be on the way, the COVID pandemic is by no means done with us, a fact Cardi B and Rita Ora both conveniently forgot about this past weekend when each singer separately decided to host celebrations with guest lists longer than 30 people. Be right back, just going to practice those calming breathing techniques we learned at our last online meditation class.

Since being busted — by the authorities in Ora’s case and on social media in Cardi’s — both women have apologized for their potentially super-spreader behaviour, posting mea culpas to Instagram and Twitter which followers may or may not choose to buy. Honestly, this seems a little too much like a couple more celebrities behaving as though the lockdowns that have been reinstated across the globe don’t apply to them (see: The Matrix 4’s illegal and shady Berlin wrap party).

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For her bash, Ora was fined by law enforcement to the tune of nearly $20,000, significantly upping the night’s budget. The singer is said to have spent the evening at a shuttered restaurant celebrating her 30th birthday with pals including Cara Delevingne. Lockdown regulations in the U.K. mandate that restaurants be open only for takeout but reports put the dinner party headcount between seven and 30 people. Ora herself had this to say on Instagram Stories:

“I attended a small gathering with some friends to celebrate my 30th birthday. It was a spur-of-the-moment decision made with the misguided view that we were coming out of lockdown and this would be OK...I'm deeply sorry for breaking the rules and in turn understand that this puts people at risk. This was a serious and inexcusable error of judgment. Given the restrictions, I realize how irresponsible these actions were and I take full responsibility.”

Back on this side of the Atlantic, Cardi B admitted to throwing a “lit” Thanksgiving dinner with 37 guests. “12 kids and 25 adults over for the holidays. It was lit!!” she tweeted. Seconds later, the WTFs came pouring in from followers who couldn’t understand why they’d been told to stay at home and skip seeing family this year while Cardi appeared to be celebrating with a horde. And while she was quick to post an apology, even her “my bads” illustrated the harsh line between the kind of health care that celebrities can afford and the kind the rest of us get.

Frustratingly, she retracted her apology in a third tweet posted just an hour after making it. Eye roll.

While it’s likely that Cardi and Rita weren’t the only celebs (or non-celebs) to ignore medical experts’ advice about large indoor gatherings this past weekend, it’s behaviour like this that will draw the pandemic out longer and make it harder on everyone. So stay home, wear your mask, and Zoom your family and friends — especially if you’ve got 37 of them.

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