With the Covid-19 pandemic still raging nationwide, anti-maskers—the shorthand term for those who refuse to wear masks in public—continue to appear in videos across the internet. Known online for causing viral public spectacles, anti-maskers are often seen actively choosing to ignore guidelines set by local governments and private businesses, causing conflict in stores, restaurants, and other establishments. In a recent example of a viral anti-mask freakout, one woman demands she be served coffee, despite her refusal to wear a mask.
The video, posted to Reddit on Thursday by the user @u/marrakum, begins mid-confrontation, with the anti-masker denouncing the establishment’s mask policy. An employee behind the counter responds by apologizing for not being able to serve her.
“Why would I wear a mask when I’m not sick?” the woman asks. “I work in healthcare and I don’t need to wear a mask. I know I’m not positive.”
When the employee apologizes again, the maskless woman doubles down on her point. “I’m not leaving the line, so give me an iced coffee,” she says. “You’re just making it harder for the people behind me.”
The employee insists he cannot serve the customer without a mask, a policy that is in practice at many establishments nationwide. “Yes, you can,” she tells him.
“You should’ve said it when I first came in,” she says, referring to the policy and her apparent wait in line without a mask before reaching the counter. “It’s never been a problem before. Last week, you took my order without a mask on.” The employee states that their “policy changed” since then.
The conflict continues for an excruciating minute-and-a-half, until the woman finally abandons her efforts. She leaves the line and kicks down a wet-floor sign, positioned near the door, on her way out.
Many replies to the video reveal viewers’ outrage and frustration, especially surrounding the woman’s claim that she worked “in healthcare.”
“Works in healthcare but refuses to wear a mask? Suuuuuuure lady” wrote Reddit user @mollyyfcooke.
The question of how to handle anti-maskers remains pressing for many food service and retail workers. Often citing a range of justifications, from violations of their civil liberties to disbelief in Covid-19 itself, members of the “anti-mask” community have been recorded nationwide disregarding safety protocols, often ending up in public conflicts with service workers.
Those on the receiving end of the behavior have been seen responding in a variety of ways, from outright blocking customers from entering their stores to threatening to call the police. On any given day, it isn’t hard to find a new video on the internet centered around the ongoing battle of masking in the pandemic.