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Trader Joe's manager gives a masterclass in patiently dealing with anti-maskers in viral video

He is being hailed a saint for the patient and calm manner in which he dealt with a group of anti-maskers who attempted to enter the store without masks.

Trader Joe's manager gives a masterclass in patiently dealing with anti-maskers in viral video
Cover Image Source: Getty Images/Trader Joe's on April 10 in Edgewater, New Jersey. (Photo by Michael Loccisano)

It blows my mind that even a year into this pandemic that has claimed millions of lives across the world, there are many who choose to put themselves and others in danger by refusing to wear masks. One Trader Joe's store manager, however, has had to deal with anti-maskers for so long that he is no longer surprised or agitated by their many false claims and baseless conspiracy theories. The store manager — who is seen wearing a nametag that reads "Karim" in a video going viral on social media — is now being hailed a saint for the patient and calm manner in which he dealt with a group of anti-maskers who attempted to enter the store without masks.



 

 

According to the NBC-affiliated KGW, the video — which has been viewed over 460k times on Instagram — was filmed outside a Trader Joes in Salem earlier this month. The eight minutes-long clip begins with Karim trying to have a polite conversation with the group away from the entrance. "I know why you guys are here," he tells the group. "I don't want to tell you guys what to think, what to do, what to believe, anything like that... I would ask kindly that you guys understand that here at TJ's, and what we're doing... we're just trying to work, make a living... The point you guys are going to make isn’t going to be made with us."



 

 

Following further protest from the group, who are refusing to wear masks to protect themselves and other shoppers from COVID-19, the manager responds: "I am not here to debate policy. I totally respect your freedom to think whatever you want to think and I truly believe that... All I'm saying is that my responsibility, as the manager of this store, is to enforce the [mask] mandate." To this, a woman — who can be heard throughout the duration of the video — cries: "But it's not a law!. You can't enforce non-law... You cannot deny somebody the right to commerce."



 

 

At this point, she notices two masked customers going into the store and rushes towards the entrance. One of them gives a sassy little foot kick as she enters the store while Karim jumps in between the protester and the entrance to remind her that she can't go in without a mask. When the unmasked woman cites the 1964 Civil Rights Act — a landmark law that outlaws discrimination on the basis of color, religion, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, and gender identity — to justify her actions, Karim responds: "With all due respect, you're manipulating the Constitution."

 



 

The Oregon Health Authority has made it very clear that the state's mask mandate is binding for all. "If a person with a disability cannot wear a mask, face-covering or face shield, a place of public accommodation, such as a business or space open to the public, will need to work with that person to provide a reasonable modification. Some common reasonable modifications are: free curbside pick-up, free delivery, or an appointment by phone or video. A reasonable modification does not include allowing a customer inside without a mask, face-covering, or face shield," it clarifies in the Q & A section of its website.



 

 

Meanwhile, on social media, netizens are praising Karim's "patience" and "grace" while dealing with the anti-maskers. "This man has the patience of a pre-school teacher. Him having to deal with this uninformed anti-mask Karen makes my blood boil," tweeted YouTuber Casey Neistat. "One day I want to be as patient as this man," wrote Zack Braff. "'No shirt, no shoes, no service' has expanded to 'No mask, no shirt, no shoes, no service.' No rights are being infringed on," pointed out @Karnythia.



 

 



 

 



 

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