Column

Your Guide to Shaming Idiot People Who Don’t Take Covid-19 Seriously

Because not all offenders are equally offensive (or contagious)

Drew Magary
GEN
Published in
7 min readJul 1, 2020

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A man and a woman are served at a restaurant. The waitress is wearing a mask, they are not.
Photo: San Francisco Chronicle/Hearst Newspapers via Getty Images

I don’t know about you, but there’s nothing I enjoy more than feeling superior to other people. This has been especially true during the pandemic because it has gifted America a veritable parade of wingnuts, denialists, hucksters, and shitbags whose breathtaking inferiority now constitutes a dire national emergency. Bereft of national leadership when it comes to virus prevention, we’ve been forced to rely on each other to keep the country safe, or at least as safe as it can possibly be at the moment. The good news is that, this time, we know the basics of how to prevent mass contagion: wear masks, keep your distance, and don’t be inside with large groups of strangers.

The bad news is how many Americans — including fucking governors — are not only ignoring these basics but doing so proudly. Turns out the only thing more contagious than the coronavirus is our collective idiocy. We can’t yet mitigate this at the voting booth because 1) the national election isn’t until November, 2) to find your local voting booth, you must first answer a series of intricate riddles posed by John Roberts, and 3) the voting booth just tested positive. Hence, the only available weapon we have on hand in this fight right now is shame: browbeating Covid-19 slackers into compliance.

Shame may be the only way we make any notable statistical progress as we enter the Second Lockdown.

I won’t lie. I do enjoy Covid-shaming people. Makes me feel like a big man. Shame may be the only way we make any notable statistical progress as we enter the Second Lockdown. But who is most shameable? Who deserves to be scorned for their epidemiological negligence, and who makes for an unfair target? I’m glad I asked. Reader, join me now as I escort you through a rogue’s gallery of possible Covid offenders and whether or not they deserve your open disapproval.

The Trader Joe’s Karen

The offense: Shows up to buy her Trader Ming’s frozen Peking duck in a bag without a mask on and then screams at everyone for…

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Drew Magary
GEN
Writer for

Columnist at GEN. Co-founder, Defector. Author of Point B.