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Mask bully in store tells unmasked young mother, kids, ‘I hope you all die!’

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A video of a masked woman in a store berating a young mother and wishing her and her small children ill over their lack of masks has gone viral.

In the video, the masked older woman is seen confronting the young mother for being in the store without wearing a mask herself and for not having masks on her children, though the video also shows other store customers going mask-free.

The young mother appears to be explaining mask use for young children in which she says kids under 10 do not have to have masks, but the older, masked lady disagrees.

“You’re being ridiculous,” the masked woman says.

You’re being ridiculous,” the mother fires back.

“I hope you all die,” the masked woman responds, looking at the mother’s children.

“You take care of yourself!” the mother says sarcastically, as the masked woman walks away.

At that, the masked woman turns around and repeats, “I hope you all die because you’re going to kill me and my family.”

“That’s such a great thing to say to somebody,” the mother replies.

“Listen, I’m wearin’ a mask, lady!” says the woman.

“Yeah, good for you,” the mother says.

Mask mandates are in place in many cities around the country. In addition, businesses have also imposed mask mandates for customers, even if local governments have not done so.

But in recent days, several major retailers have softened their positions on mandatory mask-wearing, and for the very reason displayed in the video: To avoid creating confrontations between customers and store employees.

Big box retailers like Walmart and others including Home Depot, Walgreens, CVS, and Lowe’s have all said they will serve customers who are not wearing masks following a series of incidents of violence and even death inflicted against employees by customers angered over the mandates, CNN reported this week.

The outlet notes:

Retailers and their employees are finding themselves playing the uncomfortable role of mask police. The increase in coronavirus cases is prompting concern over how to protect both customers and workers in crowded stores from infecting each other.

There is no federal mandate to wear a mask, and many state and local governments have not required wearing one. This has forced retailers to navigate a patchwork system and left them in the position of having to create their own policies.

“Many retailers feel like they have to act since some governors haven’t,” Melissa Murdock, a spokesperson for the Retail Industry Leaders Association, told CNN.

The group sent a letter to the National Governor’s Association earlier this month imploring state leaders to issue mandatory mask-wearing in public.

Critics contend that store management or security should be enforcing retailers’ mask policies.

“Either security or management needs to tell people that they must wear a face mask in order to be served. It’s no different than wearing shoes or a shirt,” Stuart Appelbaum, president of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union, said.

If retailers “are not requiring customers to wear a mask within their store, then they never had a requirement. All they had was a public relations stunt,” he added.

But a rising tide of angry confrontations and even violence over masks is forcing retailers to respond.

In May, for instance, a security guard at a Family Dollar Store in Michigan was shot and killed after telling a customer to put on a mask.

Also, scores of videos of incidents involving customers, store employees, and others fighting over mask requirements have been posted to social media in the past several weeks as mandatory mask-wearing policies spread around the country.

For its part, Walmart is stationing employees called “health ambassadors” at the entrance of stores to remind customers of the mask-wearing policy.

However, if a customer refuses, ambassadors are trained to allow the customer into the store and notify management.

Jon Dougherty

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