A video of a woman berating employees who asked her to wear a mask at a Calgary store has gone viral on the internet.
A manager at the Fabricland at 7310 Fisher Road S.E. confirmed the incident happened in that store on Sunday, but declined to speak further on the incident.
The video shows a woman with pink glasses pointing her finger at an employee who is speaking with her about the need to wear a mask.
Throughout the video, the woman speaks to several people in a mocking, childish voice while arguing that the COVID-19 pandemic is a hoax.
“You are a sheep, just like the rest of them,” says the unidentified woman. “Why don’t you people educate yourself?”
She then mocks another person who was filming the exchange.
“Are you afraid? You should run away. But you have your super mask on.”
Warning: Video contains strong language.
COVID-denier in Canada harasses customers at a fabric store & says "nobody is sick" pic.twitter.com/tEpKysQIOt
— Fifty Shades of Whey (@davenewworld_2) September 14, 2020
A staff member calmly continues to ask the woman to leave the store, until she eventually complies.
“If I ever come back here again and this thing is proven to be a hoax, I want an apology from each and every one of you sheep,” says the woman.
The video was picked up and shared by a New York-based Twitter user, and has since had more than 415,000 views on that account alone.
The City of Calgary passed a mask bylaw in July, which went into effect Aug. 1. It requires face masks in any indoor space the public has access to, including retail stores, shopping malls, recreation centres, churches and public common spaces in office buildings.
A city survey done in August found 89 per cent of Calgary residents are complying with the bylaw.
When asked about the video on Tuesday, Mayor Naheed Nenshi said the vast majority of Calgarians have been good about wearing masks because they understand it’s a service to others, and that it can help save lives.
“If you don’t like it, write a really angry email to the mayor’s office,” said Nenshi. “Don’t take it out on the 16-year-old who works at the store.”
Dr. Amy Tan, associate professor in the department of family medicine at the Cumming School of Medicine, said contrary to what the woman in the video argued, evidence continues to emerge that masks prevent the spread of droplets, which curtails the spread of COVID-19.
“We also are seeing emerging evidence that wearing a cloth reusable mask can decrease any viral exposure the wearer would get, and so potentially you’d get a less severe form of COVID even if you were to be exposed,” said Tan.