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How the Rich and Famous Continue to Travel and Party During the Pandemic

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Rich and Above the Rules

We all know the rich are not just like us, and that has perhaps never been more starkly obvious than during the COVID-19 pandemic. Not only are the rich growing exponentially wealthier while millions of Americans are losing their jobs and struggling to make ends meet, but many of America's wealthiest citizens are continuing life as normal despite the coronavirus-related health and safety concerns and regulations that keep the rest of us largely confined. The ultra-rich are not only riding out this brutal pandemic in more style, but they're also continuing to party and globetrot as if nothing is evening amiss. Need more proof of that? Have a look at these examples.

Related15 Ways the Coronavirus Has Changed Americans' Daily Lives 

David Geffen Yacht
David Geffen Yacht by Scott Smith (CC BY-NC-ND)

David Geffen's Tone-Deaf Instagram Post from His Yacht

When you're worth some $7.7 billion, it can be hard to relate to the struggles of the masses. This fact was on full display when David Geffen opted to post on Instagram about how he was protecting himself from the pandemic in the Grenadines in the Caribbean. Consider it roughing it aboard his massive multimillion-dollar yacht. The post, which has since been taken down, stated, "Isolated in the Grenadines avoiding the virus. I'm hoping everybody is staying safe." You have to ask yourself what that post was really about? Attempting to show-off his lavish lifestyle while many Americans are fighting over toilet paper?

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Travis Kalanick
Neilson Barnard/Getty

Former Uber CEO Hosts Party Amid Los Angeles COVID-19 Spike

File this one under "another out-of-touch-move from a billionaire." In the middle of a spike in COVID-19 cases in Los Angeles, during the worst pandemic in 100 years, former Uber CEO Travis Kalanick (who is worth about $2.6 billion) apparently threw a party. Sure, the gathering was said to have been held outside, but ask yourself this question: How many parties have you hosted lately? Most of us are forgoing even seeing family, let alone inviting groups of adults over to mingle. "They just can't stop themselves from throwing parties and going on their jets and socializing as if everything was normal," a source close to several wealthy tech CEOs told the Vanity Fair writer who reported on Kalanick's party.

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house party

Bryce Hall's Massive 21st Birthday Party

Though it's hard to say exactly who Bryce Hall is, it seems this particular faux-celeb was violating health precautions in Los Angeles so blatantly that the city's mayor saw fit to turn his electricity off. The YouTuber and TikTok, er ... personality? celebrity? (you decide), threw a blowout bash to celebrate turning 21. And it seems it was hardly the first party hosted by Hall during the pandemic. Why let the deaths of thousands of Americans get in the way of a good time? Shortly after the bash, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti issued a statement about the situation. "We need every resident to undertake critical safeguards to stop the spread of this virus," Garcetti's statement said. "That includes not hosting or attending parties that put themselves, their neighbors, and many others at risk." Apparently several warnings had been issued in regard to parties at Sway House, where Hall lives. The house had turned into something of a nightclub.

Related: "Covidiots" and Other Pandemic Phrases That Have Infected Our Vocabulary

Justin and Hailey Bieber
Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty

Justin and Hailey Bieber's House Party

In yet another example of celebrities and the wealthy living by an entirely different set of rules and norms, Justin and Hailey Bieber decided to flat-out ignore COVID-19 warnings and throw an extravagant house party at their Beverly Hills home for singer Justine Skye's birthday. The guests, of course, included another set of famous names: Kendall and Kylie Jenner. The entire state of California continues to struggle amid the impact of COVID-19, and there are strict social distancing measures in place across Los Angeles. What's more, gatherings of any size that contain people from different households are prohibited under Los Angeles County's health orders. Oh, and there wasn't a mask in sight.

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Jake Paul and Logan Paul
Jerritt Clark/Stringer/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images North America

YouTuber Jake Paul Parties with Abandon

Perhaps it's just too much to ask celebs to stop partying and show consideration for other human beings or to show national unity in order to help beat this thing. In this case, Jake Paul (apparently a well-known 23-year-old YouTuber with significant bank) has not paused for even a second in throwing massive parties at his Los Angeles pad amid the COVID-19 outbreak. Most notably, in July, Paul hosted a party attended by dozens of influencers, TikTok stars, and YouTube celebrities. In other words, a party that many of us couldn't be paid enough to attend. But let's not get sidetracked. Apparently, Paul's excuse for showing such reckless disregard: "I personally am not the type of person who is gonna sit around and not live my life." Yeah, evidently that particular punishment is reserved for the rest of us saps.

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Tristan Thomas
Sean M. Haffey/istockphoto

Tristan Thompson Throws Huge House Party

NBA player and Kardashian baby daddy Tristan Thompson apparently feels no need to self-isolate in the interest of helping to quash the pandemic once and for all (or even to protect his own daughter). The 29-year-old basketball player was slammed by his neighbor Playboy model Daisy Jean on Instagram recently for hosting a noisy bash. Once again for those in the back, Los Angeles residents have specifically been advised to stay home and practice social distancing. Unless, of course, your last name is Kardashian, Bieber, or Thompson … right?

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David Solomon
Paul Morigi/Getty

Goldman Sachs CEO Hosts Drive-In Concert

Perhaps when you're the CEO of Goldman Sachs, you can do whatever you want. And maybe you and all your friends are also immune to coronavirus. (Well actually, it's just that the rich are getting private COVID-19 testing done on demand). Which must have been David Solomon's thinking when the uber-wealthy CEO hosted a drive-in concert that morphed into a dance party attended by thousands of people who were reportedly in close proximity to each other. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo labeled the whole affair "egregious." Sounds about right.    

Kimberly Guilfoyle and Donald Trump Jr
Manny Carabel/Getty

Kimberly Guilfoyle and Donald Trump Jr. Attend Hamptons Party

It should hardly be any surprise that one of President Donald Trump's sons would attend a party amid the historic life-threatening pandemic. After all, Trump hasn't exactly been the biggest ally in the battle to defeat a health crisis that has killed thousands of Americans. Both Trump Jr. and Guilfoyle attended a "maskless" Hamptons party in late June, after which Guilfoyle tested positive for COVID-19. The party took place at the Bridgehampton mansion of developer Joe Farrell.

Related: COVID-19 Skeptics Who Contracted the Virus

madonna grammys
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Madonna Parties with Pals

Madonna, the original material girl, attended a friend's birthday party and even brought a cake with her to said party amid the pandemic. And here we all are canceling our kids' birthday parties to stay safe. What are we thinking? It was also reported that no one at the party felt the need to wear any protective gear. Side note: The legendary singer said she had tested positive for coronavirus antibodies, which means she had previously been in contact with COVID-19. So, there's that.

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Novak Djokovic
Al Bello/Getty

Tennis Star Novak Djokovic Parties at a Nightclub

Perhaps not a household name in every corner of the globe, but Novak Djokovic is the world's No. 1 tennis player. Being as physically fit as one must be to hold such a title, however, did not stop Djokovic from testing positive for COVID-19 shortly after he was caught on camera partying shirtless at a Serbian nightclub amid the pandemic.