- A group of protesters without masks marched through the Florida target on Tuesday night, encouraging other customers to take off their masks.
- A viral video showed the crowd shouting: “Take off the mask!” and “We will no longer accept it.”
- Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the wearing of masks has increased from medical preventive measures to cultural requirements.
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Marisa Folz, a 28-year-old boutique owner in Florida, was shopping with her mother and aunt at Target in Fort Lauderdale on Tuesday night when she heard Shouts and screams from several aisles. She stopped and looked around the store, and then a large group of anti-mask protesters was just around the corner.
“Take off your mask,”
Another man in a red “Make America Great Again” T-shirt carried a loudspeaker to play rock music above his head, and motioned for another customer to cover up and join. “Yes, we found someone!” he said excitedly.
Since the outbreak of COVID-19, wearing masks has been politicized, from a public health measure to a cultural statement. In Washington, politicians put their positions on masks. In supermarkets, compliance with mask regulations can lead to a deadlock between customers and employees. In July, a passenger who refused to wear a mask beat a French bus driver to death.
According to Folz’s video, the Fort Lauderdale team consists of about 11 people, covering young people wearing “Make America Great Again” hats and T-shirts, then young women, and then a little boy.
The Fort Lauderdale target has a clear masking policy. There is a sign outside the door telling customers: “The Broward County government requires masks; all guests must wear masks to enter the building.”
In an interview with Business Insider, Folz said: “I’m shocked. It’s disgusting.” “They are not angry at all. It seems to be a joke to them.”
A nurse watching the scene said that she worked in the COVID-19 ward of the hospital and commented: “That’s too disrespectful,” Folz said.
After the group passed, a message appeared on the intercom requesting the group to leave. At that time, her family decided to keep their distance. Folz’s mother said, “Let me take my toothpaste…let us get out of it.”
At the checkout, she noticed that several police cars were parked outside the store, and the lights flickered. Foz said that Folz showed the police the video she had taken, but was told that the police could not do anything because it was too late for law enforcement officers to arrive at the scene. She said the official encouraged her to post the video online and let social media do it.
The target company did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the incident.