The opening of a brand new Trader Joe’s grocery store chain in Los Angeles took a turn after a woman was caught going on an angry rant after being asked to wear a mask. Several videos were taken of the incident and shared on Twitter by @ItsRellzWorld. In the first, the woman is already in the middle of screaming at employees, which the man who recorded the videos says came after someone asked her to leave for not wearing a mask. “Y’all, Karen is showing out in Trader Joe’s,” he says. “She does not have on a mask, and somebody said ‘Fuck you, leave,’ and she is having it out.”
— D. Giles (@ItsRellzWorld) June 27, 2020
Subsequent videos show her escalating the situation as employees appear to repeatedly ask her to leave. “You fucking pigs!” she screams, slamming her empty shopping basket down. “You’re fucking Democratic pigs, all of you!” Speaking directly to the camera, she continues to scream, claiming that she has a breathing problem and her doctor “won’t let” her wear a mask. “So anyone harassing me to wear a mask, you guys are violating federal law! Do you get that? Get that on camera!”
— D. Giles (@ItsRellzWorld) June 27, 2020
The claim of a “medical exemption” to wearing a mask has been popularized among anti-maskers lately.
Websites pushing fake “face mask exempt” cards for folks to print out and hand to store managers in order to threaten a lawsuit have been popping up over the past couple of months. While many of these cards, and many of the people rushing into stores refusing to wear a mask, cite the Americans with Disabilities Act as why they should be allowed to shop without a small piece of cloth that would help prevent others from getting sick, folks have often stepped in to correct their misconception.
Important and useful details, since we'll probably be hearing these claims of "my doctor!" and "the ADA!" from Freedom-To-Infect-Others Fighters more often. https://t.co/jzbzz8gvN3
— No more "leadership" in healthcare's pocket! #M4A (@a9ymous) June 27, 2020
But people are questioning this woman’s claim to a “medical exemption” for a number of reasons.
For someone with a ‘breathing problem’ she sure has a lot of air to waste while screaming. 🤷🏻♂️
— Abel Pinedo (@knight101a) June 27, 2020
I’m a doctor and myself and every doctor friend I have literally cannot think of a reason in which a mask is contraindicated. There is zero disease process that makes wearing a face mask injurious. These cult members are insane.
— Amanda (@mandertwin) June 27, 2020
These are the same people who are totally fine with the Patriot Act.
— gpmic (@trucritic) June 27, 2020
Let’s just assume the Trader Joe’s Karen did have some sort of ‘breathing problem,” call me crazy but isn’t that all the more reason for her to wear a mask?
This would qualify as an underlying health condition, right?
— Yashar Ali 🐘 یاشار (@yashar) June 28, 2020
This crazy woman who filled out at Trader Joe's and said "I have a breathing problem" and therefore cannot wear a mask WAS LYING.
Even people with COPD can wear one.
Please, stop the bullshit and WEAR A MASK.pic.twitter.com/PY2vGw4HHS
— BrooklynDad_Defiant! (@mmpadellan) June 27, 2020
Yeah. I know disabilities can be invisible, but given the way she’s freely yelling, the fact that people have been coached to claim physical disability in order to be mask non-compliant, and the way she’s clearly invoking a political frame, I’m betting her lungs are fine.
— spooky stuff meads (@capnjoy) June 27, 2020
Some folks who claimed to be at Trader Joe’s when this Karen went off said it seemed as though she was looking for a fight.
While some folks said they saw the woman wearing a mask waiting in line to get into the store, and that she subsequently took it off once inside, one account, in particular, added that she “walked around with a basket, but not putting anything into it.” “Instead she was roaming the aisles and getting up in people’s faces, getting as close as possible, waiting for someone to inevitably tell her to put her mask back on,” the post reads. “And when a dude finally did — which didn’t take long I’m guessing, because she was being super aggressive — she lost it.”
My friend’s account pic.twitter.com/d7jynj0ruH
— lindseyss , MA (@lindseyss) June 27, 2020
I saw someone post earlier who seemed credibly in that area and whose past tweets were otherwise normal that she had watched the woman stand outside for a while waiting for the moment and then put nothing in her basket while shopping (which is obvious in the video too).
— Glenn Fleishman (@GlennF) June 28, 2020
The overall mood with this woman online was just pure frustration.
Masks are meant to keep others protected from the wearer, in case they have COVID-19 and don’t know it. When people refuse to wear masks, it often makes others around them, who are being conscious of everyone else, feel unsafe. Plus there’s the whole thing where wearing a mask outside of one’s home is currently a requirement in California, where the Trader Joe’s incident took place.
She cares enough about her own health to shop at Trader Joe’s, but not enough about anyone else’s to cover her dumb face. We are reaching peak entitlement.
— Steve Hofstetter (@SteveHofstetter) June 27, 2020
It's one thing to not wear a mask. It's next level to broadcast your projectile yelling particles all over the store.
— Mollie Katzen (@MollieKatzen) June 27, 2020
— 𝓡ᏋƬƦᎧ ƔƛꪑᎮᎥཞᏋ (@Retro__Vampire) June 27, 2020
I have to wear all of this for 10 hrs a day now to perform my job. We are on our last box of N95s that fit me. I had a panic attack wearing the alternative during my fit test. The more people refuse to wear masks for a grocery run, the longer I am confined to this PPE lifestyle. pic.twitter.com/7ARyAdeXy1
— squirrelmoonfever (@tamaralynn_g) June 27, 2020
— Miss I. 🔊 (@LotteVR29) June 27, 2020
Black people can't breathe when a cop kneels on their necks. White people can't breathe when someone asks them to wear a mask at Trader Joe's.
— Untucked with Jeremy Newberger (@jeremynewberger) June 27, 2020
Who knows if this Karen was eventually able to do her grocery shopping in one of those silly stores prohibiting people who ARE wearing masks from entering — or if she was actually even looking to buy groceries at all when it comes down to it. But if she was looking to pick a fight and get ridiculed online for her selfishness, then she certainly had a successful day out on the town.