People online are feeling little to no sympathy for a TikToker who only began to take the coronavirus seriously once several of her family members died from it.
Jada Woods’ “character development” was documented in a series of videos on her TikTok account, @jadawoods1.
In the first video that is garnering attention across the internet, Woods rails against face masks and brags about going maskless into stores that require them. In another, which was posted before the 2020 presidential election, she urges her 62,000 followers to vote for President Donald Trump.
That's when things take a turn. In the next video that people online are pointing to, she tearfully details how the coronavirus has affected her personally.
"I'm on the way to my uncle's funeral—the one who called me his little girlfriend growing up because I thought he was strong like Walker, Texas Ranger," she says.
She adds that the next day, she'll be going to the funeral of her grandfather, who recently went fishing with her father.
Her aunt, she says, is on a ventilator. "She's going to wake up in a few weeks to the news" that "her dad's funeral is tomorrow."
On TikTok, she admitted to not taking the coronavirus seriously until that moment, captioning that video, "I never took COVID serious until now. Praying for all the families going through the tragedies of the virus. #prayforme #covid19."
Woods made a video responding to a user who who said they would not be praying for "Trumpies" and that Woods "fucked up." "What in the actual heck is wrong with people?" she questions.
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In a follow-up video, Woods shares that her aunt, who was on a ventilator, died on the day of her grandfather's funeral.
In a video that Woods says is "for all of you haters," she puts on a mask to go into Starbucks.
Someone turned Woods' TikTok videos into a compilation video that has since gone viral on both Twitter and Reddit and garnered little support for the TikToker.
"I feel like a bad person, but I'm not finding a lot of empathy in my heart for her. Who knows how many people she murdered with her flippancy before it started affecting her personally? So selfish," one viewer commented.
A few users even suggested that she might've been the one who infected her family members, given she was refusing to wear a mask in public. "She probably murdered the people she's crying about," one redditor commented.
While other viewers are caught up on the fact that her uncle used to call her his "girlfriend" and are accusing the TikToker of lying for clout, some are using the videos as a teachable moment.
"We can learn from others mistakes. Or we can learn our own mistakes," one said.
"Don't wait for your loved ones to die to change your mind," another urged.
Update 11:25am CT, Dec. 9: While Woods declined to provide the Daily Dot with an official comment, she says that she never claimed to refuse wearing a mask. After the publication of this article, her videos were deleted.
Update 8:07am CT, Dec. 12: Jada Woods has decided to provide the Daily Dot with a statement. It is in its entirety below:
“I did not, thank God, give any of my family members COVID, as we had not seen one another in months. Nor am I in any way an anti-masker. This all began in August when businesses were opened back up, and I started to notice some people didn’t wear their masks, though required by Alabama’s governor. The masks weren’t seemingly being enforced as they were early on. I regularly wore mine but forgot it one day, so I made a TikTok video basically stating that maybe businesses are just required to have mask signage up -- but actually didn’t enforce this rule. It seemed like cases were going down and maybe the pandemic was on the downslope, which is what I chalked it up to.
Then, in October, it seemed like we were hearing about more and more cases, and they had more serious symptoms. Businesses started cracking down on the masks again, and I respectfully wore a mask while I was out and at work. My family and I have not had a family get-together in over a year because sadly, the virus has kept us from seeing each other. Again, there is no possible way that I could have given COVID to my family because we had not seen them in so long. For safety, we kept in touch over social media and phones.
Then in November, tragedy struck my family. My uncle who did NOT have COVID-19 had a heart attack and passed away. We also learned during this time that my aunt and grandfather were diagnosed with COVID. My aunt was transported to the hospital, and shortly after, my grandfather was too. Tragically, on November 15, my grandfather passed away from what was now determined as pneumonia, and on November 19, my aunt passed away as well, also from pneumonia.
After this traumatic series of deaths happened, I updated my TikTok followers asking for prayers because my family needed them, along with kind messages and support. Unexpectedly, individuals lashed out and began bashing me saying that I deserved to suffer over the losses in my family. Commenters continued saying that I brought this on my family for not wearing a mask and that I murdered my family. This is in fact not true. It saddens me to my core that people would say these things because I would never hurt anyone. I would consider myself compassionate, trustworthy and caring. My family members and I are going through the most pain we have ever felt. I would never wish this on anyone.
I cry for my dad. He lost his sister and dad. I cry for my grandmother, she lost her husband and daughter. I cry for my two aunts who lost their sister and dad as well. I cry for my cousins who lost their mom. I cry for many of my family members who are suffering from this loss. I cry knowing that many people around the world are in the same pain due to loss.
Experiencing such a huge loss has really opened my eyes to how short life is and how sudden death is. There is a hole in me. Two precious people I have known my entire life are gone. Family. No one can replace that or fix the pain. If it wasn’t for our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, I’m not sure how we could bear the pain and sadness.
I am saddened people assume that I didn’t have compassion for the world around me. I want to make it clear that my caption was meaning that I didn’t realize how serious COVID really was until I saw it with my own eyes. It is real. It doesn’t care if you had plans. It doesn’t care what mess it makes in your life. You just don’t realize how bad some things are until they hit home and I would never do anything to put my family in a situation that would danger them.
As for my political affiliations, yes, I voted for President Trump, but the post that has been shared in connection with this story was not in any sort of way connected to masks. It was a simple post on the then upcoming election and nothing else.
I have never been a fan of controversy. I have gained many followers on TikTok because of posting fun videos for my viewers. My intentions would never be to post something that offended anyone. It’s all to be funny, to help others or for entertainment. I never thought that someone could turn my videos into a sick, twisted story. But, I was mistaken.
Not only is this my side, this is awareness for all of you on social media. Watch what you post because it can be taken out of context. It can be twisted. People can make assumptions and make the nastiest, rudest comments. The bullying, slander and hate is not okay. I have quoted one of my favorite Bible verses many times throughout my life during rough times and this time is fitting, 'There may be pain in the night, but joy comes in the morning.' Psalms 30:5
With my story, I hope to witness and bring awareness to others about the dangers of social media. Going viral is not what it’s all cut out to be."
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