Back at Nashotah House Episcopal Seminary, we were a closed community. Well, not completely closed, as much as some may have desired it. When a communicable illness came to campus it quickly spread. No wonder—we were required to all gather twice daily in the chapel, and there was the passing of the peace during mass. And the sharing of a common chalice. The germs of the Lord were readily spread. One of the faculty members would refer to the vector of the illness as “Typhoid Mary,” a rather sexist remark in the mostly male environment. Still, Mary Mallon came to mind as the current crises has settled in. “Typhoid Mary” was an asymptomatic carrier of typhoid fever. A working-class girl from Ireland, outbreaks of typhoid followed her in the various houses in New York City where she worked.
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