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A man who was recorded on cell phone video arguing with another customer about shopping without a mask in a Florida Costco claims he was doxxed and received death threats after the clip went viral on social media.
He subsequently lost his job at a local insurance company.
In the brief video (embedded below) during which he objects to being filmed, the man yells to the other customer behind the cell phone that “You’re harassing me. I feel threatened. Back off,” along with some expletives.
Viral is an ironic term these days, but the clip has logged 12 million views on Twitter plus thousands more on YouTube and other platforms.
The man, who multiple media outlets identified as Daniel Maples, says the clip does not capture the entire incident, which he says included him being harassed by other customers, which he likened to a mob, for not wearing a facial covering.
Maples left the store at the request of a Costco employee shortly thereafter.
Although rush-to-judgment Twitter seldom operates that way, Maples said in an interview that “All I’m really asking for is a second chance at a first impression for people to know the real me and not take 15 seconds of my life and turn me into a demon.”
Apparently wearing a mask when he first entered the store, Maples explained that wearing a mask gives him a claustrophobic feeling “After a while, I start to feel like I’m suffocating.”
Florida man at Fort Myers Costco in "Running the World Since 1776" shirt flips out on elderly woman who asked him to wear a mask and man who defended her #BecauseFlorida (via @profjaffar) pic.twitter.com/PDOvi33qHK
— Billy Corben (@BillyCorben) July 7, 2020
“I never yelled at an old lady,” Maples added about the June 27 incident in Fort Myers. “I remember someone saying something to me about ‘I have cancer, I have cancer.’ I replied, ‘Well my father died of cancer.’. I didn’t understand why she was yelling at me about that.”
About a week or so later, Ted Todd Insurance announced on Twitter that “their behavior in the video is in direct conflict with our company values and their employment has been terminated.”
Thank you to everyone for their comments and messages raising awareness about a former employee at Ted Todd Insurance. Their behavior in the video is in direct conflict with our company values and their employment has been terminated.
— Ted Todd Insurance (@TedToddAgency) July 7, 2020
Maples has a lawyer, but it is as yet undetermined if he will take legal action to try to get his job back for an encounter that presumably as nothing to do with his work responsibilities. Plus, cops were never called to the scene.
In a separate interview, Maples remarked that “Society needs to look at the bigger picture and the toll it takes on people. It’s not a meme. It’s a life. I worked so hard for so long to become who I was, and, now, it’s all for nothing. At this point, I want my life back.”
During COVID, various mask-shaming videos as they are generically known have shown up on the Internet that depict pro-mask and anti-mask people getting into shouting matches in public rather than remaining calm and civil, if not minding their own business.
Man in viral Costco video breaks his silence: “What you don’t see in the video is me pleading with the person to please stop and get away from me. I got backed into a corner…someone screaming at me and filming me and trying to rally a mob against me.” https://t.co/ZeYEDj7kKU
— Billy Corben (@BillyCorben) July 13, 2020
Like most, if not all, retail stores, Costco requires customers and employees to wear masks while inside. In terms of other mask requirements, they vary by jurisdiction. President Trump does not favor a nationwide mask mandate, however, instead preferring to leave that decision to state and local officials. The CDC currently recommends facial coverings when social distancing is impractical.
For public health and mitigation as part of stopping the spread, the average person of good faith probably views mask compliance as a minor, presumably reasonable, and hopefully temporary inconvenience when shopping for groceries and whatnot. Being forced to wear one out in the fresh air is another matter.
Some see the mask requirement generally as an infringement on personal freedom, which is substantially compounded by so-called experts issuing inconsistent statements about wearing masks during the pandemic.
For example, back in March, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases who spends a lot of time on TV rather than in the lab, said that there was no need for Americans to be walking around with masks.
Writing in Technocracy News, retired neurosurgeon Russell Blaylock claims that based on the available literature, there is no connection between wearing a mask and protecting oneself from becoming infected with influenza. Masks by themselves could also create potential health risks, he additionally claimed.
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