‘COVID Karen’ Refuses to Wear Mask, Tells Asian Man to ‘Go Back to China’ in SFO

    One Asian man’s encounter with a female passenger who allegedly refused to observe safety protocols at the San Francisco International Airport (SFO) is making rounds on social media. 

    New airline policies recently implemented across the country require passengers to wear masks to help curb the spread of COVID-19, the SFGate reports.

    At SFO, violators of the mask ordinance could face a fine of up to $1,000, or even imprisonment, according to San Mateo County, which is responsible for enforcing the rule.

    Many reports of racism and xenophobia have spread almost as fast as COVID-19, many captured on video.

    The incident involved two unnamed passengers from United Flight 5655 traveling from Burbank to San Francisco on June 11.

    In the widely shared clip, the female passenger is filmed by a male passenger from the same flight as her after landing. He started filming the woman after she reportedly shoved him and told him to “Go back to China.” 


    Details about the argument and how it all began remain unclear. YouTube channel Doc MoreCowbell, which uploaded the video, described the incident:

    “I asked to be moved away from the non-mask wearing person so she shoved me, I started recording and she told me to ‘Go back to China!'”


    The male passenger, who claims to be a doctor, further berated the woman for claiming to be asthmatic.

    “This makes us asthmatics look bad, I am an asthmatic and I wear a mask,” he narrated in another video. “A face masks holes are LARGER than an oxygen molecule. She could not produce a doctor’s note to prove her asthma, I am a doctor and I know it is not a contradiction to wear a mask if you have asthma.”


    The woman, who the uploader called a “COVID Karen,”  can be heard telling the man to “go back to China” in the second video. When the man asked her to say it again, she responded by saying to go back to “McDonald’s” instead.

    In the third clip, the woman can be seen approaching the information desk to make a complaint.

    Feature Image via Doc MoreCowbell

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