STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. (KRON) — Most people agree that wearing face coverings indoors in public spaces such as grocery stores and pharmacies is essential to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
But does that make it OK for people to police each other when someone doesn’t abide by the face mask rule?
A video recently shared on Twitter shows a group of shoppers all wearing face masks at a grocery store in Staten Island, yelling and screaming at another customer who is not wearing a mask.
Lots of expletives are yelled at the woman, and a young child is seen running away from the scene. It’s unclear if there were any store employees who were involved.
While some praised the actions of masked shoppers, others didn’t feel the situation was handled appropriately.
The video has sparked a discussion on whether or not this type of behavior is okay during the pandemic.
Originally posted to Twitter by @McauleyHolmes, the video has since been viewed more than 7 million times in two days.
In a follow-up tweet, McAuley asked, “Should people engage in this type of social pressure to enforce mask wearing or social distancing as a community?”
Actor Jeffrey Wright retweeted the video, tweeting, “Staten Island is NYC’s most conservative borough. 56.05 percent voted for Trump in 2016. Population of 476,143 people and almost 800 confirmed COVID dead to this point. Extrapolated over the U.S. population that’s about 550,000 dead. So nah, they ain’t having it.”
“Does no one see how this behavior is every last drop as bad as the unmasked people berating journos and others WITH masks on???” one person tweeted. “If the act in question would be unacceptable from those with whom you disagree, it’s not right for you to do it, either.”
Another tweeted, “I don’t think anyone should say anything. Let those people be, by walking away. Keeping your own distance. It’s not nice to call people names just because they aren’t wearing a mask, they shouldn’t have all gang up on her. A situation like that can hurt a person.”
Health officials continue to encourage everyone to wear face coverings when out in public, but the mandate varies by state, city, even county.
*WARNING: Video contains graphic language; viewer discretion advised