People who justify their behavior by saying, 'There's a rule, and we can't make exceptions' are pathetic. Or somewhere on the three-pole spectrum between pathetic, stupid, and pure evil.
Bureaucracies are infamous for this, but I've been noticing it everywhere lately. Banks no longer have any discretion in whether to approve a loan -- it's decided by a far-off algorithm. Schools don't have discretion when to open -- they defer to the county. The county doesn't have discretion -- it defers to the governor.
Actual law doesn't do this. That's why we have courts and judges.
It's because the loss due to some hypothetical unfairness from applying some shitty rule unevenly is small compared to the loss of foregoing even a moderately reasonable person's judgement.