While many Miamians are following U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines on social distancing, staying home as much as possible, and covering their faces when in public, some people just are not here for it.
Take, for instance, the gentleman who was recorded haranguing a Miami Beach Code Compliance officer outside a South Beach Publix because he didn't want to wear a mask to get his groceries like the rest of us sheep.
Video of the incident, first reported by the Miami Herald, begins as the man walks toward the officer near the entrance of the grocery store.
"This is a false-flag, fake pandemic!" the man shouts. "You are in violation of my fucking constitutional rights and my civil rights!"
"Excuse me, sir," the code enforcement officer says calmly, holding out her hand as the man approaches.
He proceeds to threaten to file "a class-action lawsuit."
"You can take your fake fucking global, terroristic, false-flag attack and shove it up your motherfucking ass!" he says. "You're terrorists!"
He asserts that the officer is violating his rights by requiring him to wear a mask in public in the middle of a global pandemic, which he evidently believes is a hoax.
"Fuck you, motherfucker!" he says. "There is no pandemic! I have a right to buy groceries without being forced to participate in your fucking terrorism!"
Issuing a final "Fuck you!" the man turns and walks away
The code compliance officer follows. "You need to wear a mask, do you understand that?" she says.
The man walks back toward the officer. As she retreats, he tells her she and her fellow enforcement officers are all going to be "mass arrested and fucking executed for fucking terrorism."
A female shopper wearing a mask then tells the man to go pound sand.
"Get away if you don't give a shit," the woman says. "We have a right to give a shit, and we care about it. You go away."
According to city officials, the code compliance officer was at Publix for a routine check, and the man wasn't cited for his tirade.
"Our inspections for facial coverings and social distancing aren't always welcomed, but we are doing this for the greater good," Miami Beach Code Compliance director Hernan Cardeno said in a statement provided to New Times. "I'm proud to lead a team of Code Compliance professionals who are on the frontlines every day in our community simply trying to ensure the public complies with the safety measures in place during this global pandemic."
Tensions over masks and social distancing are bubbling up across the country and, in some cases, ending in violence and threats.
In March, the CDC had not recommended the routine use of masks when out in the community because, officials said, spread was most common from close person-to-person contact. But in early April, the CDC began suggesting that people wear facemasks or cloth coverings over their nose and mouth when in public.
The CDC doesn't recommend face coverings for children younger than age two, anyone who has difficulty breathing, or those who can't remove a mask without help. Officials say the use of facial coverings can slow the spread of the virus and keep asymptomatic people from spreading COVID-19 to others.
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