How hard is it to wear a mask to help slow the spread of COVID-19?
More than 3 million Americans have now tested positive for COVID-19, making the U.S. the pandemic’s global epicenter. Leading scientists and health experts continue to stress that we can all do our part to help slow the spread, flatten the curve, and save lives, and part of that is wearing a mask in public. Yet, if the videos from grocery stores and malls that keep going viral are any indication, that’s just too much to ask.
Another day, another one of these videos. This time, it comes from a Costco in Fort Myers, Florida, where a white man (big surprise there) went on a profanity-laced tirade after another shopper asked him to put on a mask and filmed his reaction.
The man, who has since been identified as Daniel Maples, can be seen in the video wearing a red shirt that reads, “Running the world since 1776,” but no mask, of course, even though Costco has a nationwide policy requiring shoppers to wear them in its stores. Yelling things like, “I feel threatened,” and “Back up! Back the fuck up,” Maples charges at the woman filming him. Is it really worth it to get this worked up over doing a simple thing that can protect others from illness or even death? Those of us who can think calmly and logically may never know.
Maples was identified after the video went viral on Twitter by his employer, Ted Todd Insurance, where he’s reportedly worked since 2016. The company says he has been fired.
“Thank you to everyone for their comments and messages raising awareness about a former employee at Ted Todd Insurance,” read a statement issued by Ted Todd Insurance this week. “Their behavior in the video is in direct conflict with our company values and their employment has been terminated. Threatening behavior and intimidation go against our core mission to be trusted advisors in our community. We are also committed to immediately reviewing our internal existing culture at TTI.”
This is far from the first incident where someone went viral for throwing a fit or even getting violent over mask mandates. At a Las Vegas Costco, a grown woman sat on the floor and refused to leave after employees asked her to mask up. At an L.A. Trader Joe’s, a woman screamed at shoppers that they were “democrat party pigs” as she was escorted out for — you guessed it — refusing to put on a mask. And in what might be the most horrifying incident of all, an irate woman purposely coughed on a cancer patient to retaliate against store employees who refused to serve her until she wore a mask.
Is it really so hard to care about other people? Get over yourselves and wear a mask. It won’t hurt you, and it might literally save someone else’s life.