Woman Coughs in Business Owner's Face After He Tells Her She Can't Eat Indoors

Mustafa Gatollari - Author

May 20 2020, Updated 3:31 p.m. ET

karen coughing owner cover
Source: Twitter

Even though businesses are being hit particularly hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, many are still doing their best to stay afloat by offering a variety of different solutions that comply with the current state and federal safety regulations designed to help curb the spread of the virus.

The thing is, some customers aren't too happy with the restrictions and are venting their frustrations about things not "going back to normal" soon enough for their tastes.

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Disney World, for example, is slowly re-opening its parks but are asking guests to wear face masks and participate in temperature checks along with social distancing protocols to minimize visitor risk.

And while tons of industries are hurting from the COVID-19 pandemic, those that have been hit the hardest are small businesses, especially in the hospitality, retail, and food industries.

While restaurants are doing their best to stay afloat by offering takeout and delivery options for customers, that doesn't account for all of the in-house employees like servers and bussers who are put out of work in the restaurant business because sit-down service is no longer a possibility.

We all miss being able to go out and have a regular meal in a restaurant, but it's not like we should impose our will on business owners.

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restaurants covid
Source: getty

But apparently one woman thinks that kind of behavior is entirely warranted. She reportedly walked into a restaurant and moved aside signs on tables that clearly state customers can't dine in at the moment, because she felt entitled to regular sit-down service.

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However, when the manager informed her that she would need to place an order for carryout, the woman huffed and puffed as she stood up and then proceeded to cough in the restaurant owner's face.

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The entire exchange was recorded. There are several things especially egregious about this situation. The first is that the restaurant owner could be found at fault for violating guidelines if  they opened for sit-down service. A salon in Reno was recently hit with a $1,000 penalty for opening its doors to customers.

Secondly, businesses also have the right to refuse service to anyone. Even if we weren't in the midst of a pandemic, the manager could've told her she wasn't going to get sit-down service and would've been entirely within his rights to do so.

Thirdly, there's an ongoing debate as to whether blatantly coughing in someone's face can be considered assault, especially amidst a pandemic such as this. And with this video evidence, the manager might have themselves a serious claim.

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The video is quickly going viral and currently has over 4,100 retweets and almost 9,400 likes (it accrued thousands since I started writing the article.)

Understandably, people are horrified at the woman's reaction to being told she can't sit down in the restaurant.

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There are some that tried to defend the woman's actions, but it seems like the overwhelming majority of commenters couldn't believe she'd go through such lengths. It's not like it's the restaurant manager/owner's fault a worldwide pandemic broke out.

screenshot from
Source: Twitter
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What do you think? Was the woman "justified" in her behavior? Or should this kind of response be categorically denounced?

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