Mask regulations and social distancing guidelines have been implemented across the country, but not all Americans agree. From assault to screaming like a toddler, seemingly normal, well-adjusted adults are struggling to adapt to this new COVID world.
Here are just some examples of how social distancing and face masks requirements have been driving some Americans a little crazy:
In Michigan, a man asked to wear a mask by a fellow customer in a Quality Dairy market made his displeasure known by stabbing the customer. The 77-year-old customer survived, but the man who refused to wear a mask was later killed by the police after a confrontation. The week before, the governor had ordered that masks must be worn inside all Michigan businesses and crowded outdoor settings.
Maria Maciel of California had an unexpected interruption to an otherwise relaxing day at a lake when another woman started screaming and throwing a tantrum over social distancing. According to Maciel, the incident started when the woman asked Maciel repeatedly to leave because her family was coming, and she wanted to protect them from COVID. The woman eventually got out a tape measure to measure the distance before having a full meltdown, screaming in a fashion more reminiscent of a toddler than an adult. According to the family of the woman, she was a “nurse and going through a lot.”
A man in Florida is facing charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and improper display of a firearm after brandishing a gun in a Walmart over a facemask dispute. According to the reports, Vincent Scavetta pulled a gun on another shopper and his daughter after the man suggested that Scavetta wear his mask. Florida has experienced increased COVID-19 infections over the last month. Scavetta denies the conflict was over the mask.
Two women got into a physical altercation in a Home Depot over facemasks. The incident started when a woman approached Sydney Waters and an employee telling them to wear masks. Ironically, the woman removed her own and Waters confronted her about the double standard. The situation got heated and somehow ventured into the topic of race where the woman said, “I believe in white power,” though it’s unclear if she was serious or she was just antagonizing Waters. The earlier verbal sparring was not recorded. At some point, the situation became physical and the woman was eventually charged with misdemeanor assault.
In one particularly weird incident, a woman decided to urinate in a Verizon store as a form of protest against the employees’ requests that she and her group wear masks or leave. The police were called to address the issue and found stolen merchandise from Dicks Sporting Goods in her car as well. She was subsequently arrested. Verizon stated that the mask mandate was only part of the issue.
In other instances, a 77-year-old woman in Oregon declined to wear a mask in Costco and subsequently sat down on the ground, refusing to leave or put on a mask until her return was processed. Another woman in California told a grocery store that she would sue after they told her that they couldn’t let her enter the premises without a mask. In a Florida Walmart, employees tried to block a man from entering the store without a mask. He pushed employees several times.
There is some validity in questioning whether or not these restrictions infringe on personal liberty and autonomy, but those discussions should never devolve into physical assaults. Employees are just following the guidelines set about by the state and companies. For those that disagree or feel uncomfortable with wearing a mask, there are alternatives.
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