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Unmasked Customer Tells Staff COVID-19 Doesn’t Exist, Gets Fined For Flouting Safety Rules

Unmasked customer says COVID-19 doesn’t exist

Less than 2 months ago, Saigon was hailed for its success in the battle against the COVID-19 outbreaks with zero community cases by mid-April. Since then, the city has reached 277 cases with daily community infections.

While some blame the church members of the latest cluster for worsening the outbreak, there’s no denying that others have also skirted safety rules and regulations. 

Case in point, an unmasked customer spotted in a convenience store in Ho Chi Minh City on 31st May. She refused to mask up when asked to by the store staff, citing her disbelief in the existence of the coronavirus.

Ultimately, there was a price to pay for her refusal to adhere to the protocol for her own safety.

She refused to wear a mask for her own safety

COVID-19 wear masks
She had an altercation with police officers
Image credit: PLO

On 31st May 2021, a lady and her child walked into a Circle K+ store on Ton Dan Street, Ward 13, District 4 at around 11.45PM. 

The store staff advised her to put a mask on before they could carry out any transaction with her, Phap Luat reports.

When she refused to heed their advice, the store staff had to deny her service, as per COVID-19 health protocols.

Feeling offended, she was up in arms and the store staff had to seek local police intervention.

She proclaimed that COVID-19 doesn’t exist

COVID-19 wear masks
She was taken into a police van by force
Image credit: Nguoi Lao Dong

When policemen arrived at the scene and asked her to mask up, the stubborn customer got more agitated and raised her voice. 

According to the cameraman, she hurled insults at law enforcement officers.

“If I say there is no pandemic, it means there’s no pandemic. Why do you force me to put a mask on when I’m all healthy?” she said loudly.

Several passers-by standing nearby were heard replying to her rant, “How can you say that there’s no pandemic? The whole country is battling cases of infections.”

However, the lady continued her rant, denying that the pandemic was a real thing.

Fined for breaching COVID-19 regulations and disorderly conduct

Law enforcement officers appear to have tried to convince her to heed health protocols, but to no avail.

So they took her to the police station by force. Frightened at the sight, her daughter burst into tears and was consoled by passers-by.     

According to Phap Luat, the lady was fined VND2,000,000 (~USD86.87) for breaching COVID-19 rules and VND350,000 (~USD15.20) for disorderly conduct.

Customer denies COVID-19 exists when asked to mask up

Since late May, authorities have placed Saigon under citywide social distancing to curb the spread of the virus.

We have seen virus-linked death tolls, meaning that COVID-19 is certainly not a conspiracy theory or a figment of anyone’s imagination.

The more people fail to take tightened measures seriously, the longer it takes for us to bring the number of infections down to a manageable level. 

While the idea of masking up to defend ourselves from something invisible is inconvenient, we should heed the protocols set by the government.

It’s OK to dislike wearing a mask, but we think it’s still more comfortable than wearing a ventilator. 

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Cover image adapted from: PLO

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