The video shows shoppers yelling and pointing at the woman to leave the store
A video showing customers at a ShopRite in Staten Island screaming “get out” to a customer not wearing a mask has gone viral after being posted on Twitter.
The clip was shared by Twitter user McAuley Holmes, who did not take the video but posted it on social media after seeing it on Reddit. In the footage, you can hear mask-wearing customers shouting at a woman who did not wear a mask, pointing at her to get out of the store. Per Governor Cuomo, New Yorkers are required to wear masks or face coverings when out in public and unable to follow social distancing guidelines.
In Staten Island they call this “asking her politely to leave” 💚💚💚 https://t.co/1WPR5ejrs1
— Sam Biederman (@Biedersam) May 25, 2020
Holmes said he had mixed feelings about the video. “From what I can see in the video it seems there aren’t employees of the store involved in removing the shopper,” Holmes told Heavy. “Obviously private businesses have the right to refuse service to non-mask wearers, but a group of shoppers is different. Masks are important in stopping the spread and wearing one is a sign of respect to others,” he continued. “It’s understandable that people would be so serious about community enforcement in a place like Staten Island that has been hit so hard by COVID.”
New York has been the epicenter of the outbreak in the US for many weeks. To date, over 365,000 people in the state have tested positive and over 29,000 have lost their lives. Though Staten Island is 18 miles from the city itself, many residents work in Manhattan and can easily bring the virus to the area. Over 700 residents in Staten Island have died from the virus.
People were divided on social media about the treatment the woman received:
This is uncivil insanity and these videos will be looked back on in retrospect as embarrassing and horrible— MWZH (liberate china) (@MWZH1) May 25, 2020
That video is a triumph of smart people over stupid selfish people. If more people like this do social pressure, we will all be healthier. Hell, if this happened in 1930s against the Nazis world history would’ve been better— Schrödinger’s Yooper (@AstroAspects) May 25, 2020
No if they don't want to wear a mask that's up to them I refuse to wear one I've continued with my life like normal I will not be bullied into doing something I don't choose to do and If you're going to approach me in public with force be prepared to receive it back— Thomas Barry Jowers Jr (@RealBarryJowers) May 25, 2020
This is a deadly virus for some people & will leave lasting scars in brain, heart & liver for others. Wearing a mask means you care about your fellow man, since asymptomatic carriers can spread virus. Yes, anyone so selfish to go out without covering up deserves this treatment.— Theo67 (@glomad67) May 25, 2020
Then she can’t go to the grocery store. She can easily have groceries delivered to her if she’s unable to wear a mask, and she can have a family Member get groceries for her. Or go to a bodega. She has options. Not wearing a mask to the supermarket is not one.— Mike Axelrod (@Jizewggaz) May 26, 2020
No. It’s just as bad as the ones mocking people for not wearing masks. We don’t need angry mobs. No excuse for this behavior (by either side).— Winston (@Winston3710) May 25, 2020
This is in NYC, where the health regulations REQUIRE a mask or face covering in grocery stores, so, no, it is not a “store policy”— DMCohen (@DMCohen4) May 25, 2020
The store said it reported the incident when it happened and said in part, “Preventing the spread of COVID-19 is a shared responsibility. At ShopRite, we continue to adhere to our sanitation and social distancing protocols to ensure our stores remain a safe place for associates and customers to work and shop. We are all in this together and we ask for everyone to be patient and understanding during this difficult time.”
“If you are not sick, you should wear a face-covering whenever you need to leave home and might be closer than 6 feet from others,” the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene says. “Examples include riding the subway, ferry, or bus; riding in a taxi or car service; walking on a busy street; going to pharmacies and grocery stores; and going to the doctor or a hospital.”