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Karen privilege? #18minuteswithoutcheese trends over viral rant about bad restaurant service during Covid-19

Karen privilege? #18minuteswithoutcheese trends over viral rant about bad restaurant service during Covid-19
A tweet posted by the husband of a ‘Karen’ receiving bad restaurant service because she went 18 minutes without shredded cheese went viral, prompting debates about everything from race to Covid-19 lockdown measures.

“My wife, date night after 3+ months lockup in quarantine. Waiting for shredded cheese as it’s the only way she can eat fajitas. We’ve asked four people, going on 18 minutes now,” the account for the Opinionated Much? podcast — hosted by Jay S. Vicknair — tweeted along with a picture of a woman looking distraught at a table full of food at a Texas restaurant.

“We gotta quit blaming #Covid19 for crappy service.”

Karen privilege? #18minuteswithoutcheese trends over viral rant about bad restaurant service during Covid-19

The ‘cheese wife’ tweet — as it became known before being deleted — trended with the hashtag #18minuteswithoutcheese earning thousands of sarcastic and critical messages accusing the couple of white privilege and over-exaggerating their ‘struggle’ at a time when businesses remain either closed or heavily scaled back in both capacity and service. 

The “cheese wife” was also given the moniker ‘Karen’, popularly used on social media to accuse white women of being overprivileged.

Others used the tweet to make the argument for continued lockdown precautions and staying home.

“They sell it at the store pre-shredded! Stay home and you can give your wife all the shredded kraft cheese she wants; bags and bags of it on her fajitas,” one user tweeted

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“It’s a global pandemic with a failing state and no end in sight. Chill tf out with service demands,”wrote author Tressie McMillan Cottom.

“Texas reported 5,747 new #COVID cases today( the second-highest total since tracking began); 42 new deaths; and 421 new hospitalizations. And in other news, there is apparently a shortage of shredded cheese at the Allen branch of Mi Cocina,” Stephen Vladek, a professor at the University of Texas Law, tweeted. 

Texas has seen a rise in Covid-19 cases since partially reopening, which has led the state to partially reversing course by closing bars, reducing capacity in restaurants, and allowing local governments to ban gatherings of more than 100 people in public.

Lockdown measures have been fiercely debated by health officials and politicians, as well as on social media with critics arguing states beginning to reopen are putting people at risk, and others claiming lockdown measures present more potential negatives for people and the economy.  

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While the tweet was deleted, a later message from the account acknowledged that going viral led to “not a good morning” for the married couple.