Release the Karens! Entitled tyrants are the latest scourge plaguing coronavirus-ridden US
Just one tweet of the Staten Island scene, which was originally posted on Facebook, has been viewed more than 6.2 million times since it was posted on May 25.
“This mess has revealed a LOT of people’s inner Karen,”quipped one Twitter user, referencing the wildly popular meme depicting the entitled middle-aged woman who bosses fellow citizens around with impunity and demands to speak to the manager.
The episode even caught the attention of Westworld actor Jeffrey Wright, who weighed in with some sobering statistics from Staten Island, providing some context to the merciless, profanity-laced barrage from the ShopRite patrons.
Staten Island is NYC's most conservative borough. 56.05% voted for Trump in 2016. Population of 476,143 people and almost 800 confirmed COVID dead to this point. Extrapolated over the US population that's about 550,000 dead. So nah, they ain't havin it. https://t.co/LE8ugkrHJj— Jeffrey Wright (@jfreewright) May 25, 2020
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends people wear masks in public but it is still only a requirement in 12 states, including New York.
In New York, the state hardest-hit by coronavirus, residents are required to wear masks when they cannot social distance, including, “going to pharmacies and grocery stores,”according to the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene guidelines.
However, debate continues to rage, even among city authorities, as conflicting information and guidelines fuel frustration among an already anxious population.
Indeed, even arch-Karen and Hollywood paragon of virtue, Alyssa Milano, tweeted her approval of the baying mob, despite herself falling victim to the online cohort of ‘Karens’ for wearing an ostensibly useless knitted mask.
“I’ve never been prouder of growing up on Staten Island,” Milano tweeted.
However, the scourge of ‘the Karen’ is not limited to the enforcement of mask wearing, but has become a hallmark of the coronavirus lockdown across the US.
Bark worse than her bite
In another viral incident, this time in New York’s Central Park, a woman called the police on a “black man” who allegedly asked her to keep her dog on a leash in accordance with park rules.
Oh, when Karens take a walk with their dogs off leash in the famous Bramble in NY’s Central Park, where it is clearly posted on signs that dogs MUST be leashed at all times, and someone like my brother (an avid birder) politely asks her to put her dog on the leash. pic.twitter.com/3YnzuATsDm— Melody Cooper (@melodyMcooper) May 25, 2020
Karen sees red at Red Lobster
Red Lobster fell afoul of the Karens on Mother’s Day after the restaurant’s online ordering system accepted more orders than they could fulfill. In one needlessly violent exchange at a York, Pennsylvania location, a woman was filmed physically and verbally abusing staff after being made to wait.
A Karen Goes Berserk at Red Lobster on Mother's Day (YORK, PA)Woman upset that she has to wait 3 hours for food from Red Lobster on Mother’s Day when the restaurant has a reduced staff. pic.twitter.com/gEnZI9vPh3— iGrowCannabis🌱🗽 (@ArmoredGoat) May 12, 2020
Say the line, Karen
In online memes, the Karen archetype is often quoted as demanding to see the manager, but life imitated art at Gelson's Market in Dana Point, California when a woman was refused entry to a store without wearing a mask.
Karen gets upset that a store won't let her shop without a protective facemask. She then tried to pretend like she's the victim, despite the store giving her options. This is pure arrogance. https://t.co/qgFLhKjgxd#COVIDIDIOTS#COVID19pic.twitter.com/OXV4EQLOgD— Khary Penebaker (@kharyp) May 17, 2020
“I want to speak to your manager,” the woman insists, uttering the infamous catchphrase of the Karen. “Where’s the regulations that state that?” the woman adds, when told that she would have to wear a mask to shop at the store. She even claims she has a medical condition which prevents her from wearing a mask, which she is not obligated to disclose.
She even rejects an offer from the manager who said he would do her shopping for her, claiming that she wishes to buy private items she does not wish him to see – though, apparently she wouldn’t have this issue at the checkout.
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