In case there weren’t enough Karen videos floating around the web, a fresh clip of angry, entitled anti-maskers has gone viral on Twitter.
The clip shows a couple shopping at a Florida Walmart. Neither shopper chose to don a mask inside the store. According to a press release from the company, Walmarts across the country began requiring all shoppers to wear face coverings as of July 20.
There is signage posted at the front of each Walmart location, along with a “Health Ambassador,” who is stationed near the door to remind people of the company’s policy. Somehow, the Karen couple managed to ignore all the signs and avoid contact with the health ambassador and was in the midst of a mask-free shopping trip when a fellow shopper decided to film them.
The couple is already irate when the video, filmed by a second shopper, begins. It appears that a woman, dressed in a grey shirt, approached the couple before the video began and asked them to put on masks. As the video initiates, the couple is already shouting for security, and the woman in grey pulls out her cellphone.
“We’re from fuckin’ Washington,” the man explains, while briefly attempting to hide his identity by shielding his lower face in his shirt. Ironically, his identity would have been far more concealed had he been wearing a mask. He seems to think that their status as out of state visitors exempts the couple from national mask-wearing requirements.
In the background, the man’s wife—dubbed a Karen online—accuses the woman in grey of rushing her. “You just rushed me,” she exclaims. “She just rushed at me and she’s recording me. Can you get her away from me?”
The couple then briefly engages in an argument over whether it is legal for the woman to be filming. It is legal to film someone in public, so long as they do not have a reasonable expectation of privacy, according to the American Civil Liberties Union.
Karen, now thoroughly worked up, slaps the camera out of the woman in grey’s hand. It tumbles to the ground as Walmart security reaches the altercation and attempts to smooth things over. The couple continues to shout, however, ordering other customers to “go that way.” When both the woman in grey and the other person filming refuse, they become hysterical.
The man claims multiple times that both he and his wife have “TBI” or traumatic brain injuries. In the comments, several people noted that this may be the reason behind their aggressive response. As he continues to shout in the background—adding in his supposed military history—the woman in grey tucks her phone away, likely at the behest of employees, and attempts to keep shopping.
This enrages the couple even more. They continually shout at her to “go that way” rather than fetch the item she clearly entered the aisle to get. They even attempt to block her path. “I’ll knock you the fuck out if you touch me,” Karen exclaims. She then demands that employees “get her to leave,” despite the fact that the woman in grey is following the store’s mandate.
Employees, likely desperate to end the confrontation, comply. As the video concludes, they are still attempting to defuse the situation.
Everything online is fuel for argument these days, so the comment section for the video is rife with disagreement. Dozens of people expressed their frustration with the couple for going against recommendations from our nation’s top health experts.
One commenter deemed the pair “rat-lickers.” According to Urban Dictionary, the relatively new slang term—a reference to the bubonic plague, which was spread by rats—means “a person who refuses to wear a mask, or take any of the basic precautions to help society prevent an air born illness during an epidemic.”
Many commenters defended the couple’s right to privacy, however, and noted that the people filming should have just walked away. Other people disagreed, saying that a good helping of shame appears to be the only thing that gets through to the plague of Karens and Kens we’ve seen in 2020.
There are very few valid medical reasons to not wear a mask. Thus far, at least, a traumatic brain injury is not among them.