In a new viral video, a brain tumor patient captures the moment an unmasked woman at a store intentionally coughed on her
There are people attempting to flatten the coronavirus curve by following the guidance of the CDC, including social distancing, wearing protective facial coverings when out in public, practicing diligent hand hygiene, and staying home when sick. However, because some people either haven’t gotten the memo that we are in the midst of a deadly pandemic — or simply don’t give a crap — they aren’t exactly doing their part in preventing the spread of the highly infectious virus. But even worse than those who refuse to wear a mask to protect the health of others, are those who are using their very own respiratory droplets as weapons — as was the case in a very disturbing video making the rounds.
Heather Sprague, a mother of ten who is a brain tumor patient at the Mayo Clinic, left her home for a “rare trip out” to shop at her local Pier 1 store, when she was intentionally coughed on by another shopper. Luckily, she caught the entire appalling interaction on camera.
“Yesterday I learned firsthand the power of conscientious bystanders. It took 30 seconds to end 15 minutes of aggressive harassment,” she wrote in her viral Facebook post.
Sprague had an appointment, so while she was waiting she put a mask on and “ducked into a store to escape the heat.”
“There were two small children wandering around the store unattended for an extended period, and the little guy was doing the potty dance. It became apparent that they belonged to a woman at the register who was becoming increasingly belligerent.”
She explains that the woman was “screaming at, swearing, insulting, and threatening the staff” demanding the return of an item that she didn’t even have with her. “The staff were professional and respectful. But they couldn’t return an item she didn’t actually have with her.” Obviously.
“She continued to rage, all the while her poor little boy was squirming and asking for a bathroom, which she would have needed to leave the store to find. When she positioned herself so the clerks couldn’t exit the checkout area and screamed that she would stay right there, yelling as loud as she wanted, until all their customers left… I stood at a distance, pulled out my phone and wordlessly began filming. She immediately turned her attention away from the staff to me,” she continued. “The video tells the rest of the story.”
In the brief clip the woman faces her and says, in an incredibly “Karen” like tone, “Do you really need this?” flipping her off with both middle fingers. “I think I’ll get really close to you and cough on you then,” she continues. Then, she deliberately coughs on her, before calling her an a**hole. And yes, this really happened.
“I did not speak, react, or engage. Simply stood to document the behavior,” Sprague continues. “When bullies are faced with accountability they must acknowledge the unacceptability of their actions. Within 30 seconds of filming her tirade was done and she left the poor staff in peace.”
“I’m off to find a Covid test, thanks Karen*cough, cough*” she finished off the post.
Despite the fact that she may have been exposed to the virus, Sprague is in good spirits. However, she did have Pier 1 file an incident report, in case she gets sick, she told Jacksonville’s The Florida Times-Union.
“I just think it’s wise not to give our power away to those who don’t deserve it,” she said. “So, if I let her make me frustrated, angry or consumed by this — then that takes away my availability to my children, and she shouldn’t have that power.”