NEW YORK -- One Costco shopper didn’t comply when asked to wear a mask.
An unidentified Costco customer has gone viral for refusing to wear a face mask inside the superstore amid the coronavirus health crisis. The shopper argued with an employee over the policy, asked to speak with her manager and plopped down to sit in the middle of warehouse club — all while a face mask dangled from her ear.
“New ‘Costco Karen’’ Sighting,” a Twitter user joked on Thursday, sharing now-viral video footage of the disgruntled shopper’s meltdown, in a two-minute clip that has since been viewed over 51,000 times.
"Karen” is a pejorative term that has emerged to label a demanding, middle-aged white woman who displays a sense of overbearing entitlement in various societal confrontations.
The camera began rolling at the Merchandise Returns counter, when a Costco employee asked the woman if she had a medical reason for not wearing a mask.
The customer said that she did not have a medical reason for refusing to wear a mask, instead exclaiming, “I am a United States citizen!”
“OK, well, you have to wear your mask in Costco though. It's a private property,” the employee replied. “There is something hanging off your ear right now,” she added, referencing the mask hanging from one of the shopper’s ears.
“No! I am not a member of Costco,” the woman fired back. From there, the customer asked to speak to the employee’s boss.
“He’s going to require the same. If you want to step outside here I’ll have him come meet you outside,” the Costco worker said.
“No, I’m staying right here,” the woman replied.
“You need to do that, it’s our policy. We’re going to walk outside,” the employee insisted, pushing a cart and walking to a different area.
Following behind for a moment, the shopper then dropped to sit in the middle of the store and refused to move.
After rejecting the employee’s offers of a chair or another place to sit, the woman agreed to move off to the side – and sat down again – away from other customers and their carts. Then, in a second video clip, a manager and another employee are seen coming to speak with her.
“I am an American. I have constitutional rights!” the woman yelled during their conversation, while seated on the ground.
The Daily Mail reports that the incident occurred at a Costco in Hillsboro, Ore.
Social media commenters had little patience for the shopper’s antics and refusal to wear a face mask inside the warehouse club.
According to the superstore’s COVID-19 updates page, all Costco members and guests must wear a face mask that covers their mouth and nose at all times inside the store. Exceptions are made for children under age 2 and anyone who cannot wear a face mask due to a medical condition.
However, “the use of a face covering should not be seen as a substitute for social distancing,” the face-covering requirement policy states.
“Please continue to observe rules regarding appropriate distancing while on Costco premises.”