Several essential workers have already paid with their lives for wanting to enforce anti-Covid-19 measures. These men and women did not die of the pandemic, but they too were victims. They had left their home one morning but had not returned home.
Across the world, frontline workers have been insulted, brutalized and even killed for trying to enforce rules designed to protect the public from the spread of the coronavirus.
A November 2020 University of Massachusetts survey of workers in six U.S. states found that those working in retail and hospitality faced the greatest resistance to masks and social distancing.
Low-paid workers have been the most exposed to people refusing to comply with anti-coronavirus measures.
Grocery worker killed in Georgia
Laquitta Willis, 41, a cashier at a grocery store in Dekalb County, Georgia, was killed in June 2021 after an argument over wearing the mask with a customer, Victor Lee Tucker, 30.
The suspect would have entered Big Bear’s house without his muffler. A heated discussion would have ensued between the man and Ms Willis, an employee who had worked in the grocery store for nearly a decade and meticulously kept her counter clean during the pandemic, according to several accounts.
After leaving without buying anything, the suspect reportedly returned to the grocery store with a gun and shot the woman. After shooting Ms. Willis, the suspect shot a police officer working in security at the grocery store.
Victor Lee Tucker faces murder and assault charges.
An employee by Family Dollar slain in Michigan
Calvin Munerlyn lived in Flint, Michigan, where everyone knew him as “Duper”, a nickname inherited from his mother.
The man, being tall, was easily intimidating at first sight. But it only took a few moments in his presence to be conquered by his charm.
He worked by day as a security guard at Family Dollar, a chain of well-priced stores. In the winter, he worked nights at a warming center run by Catholic Charities, a community non-profit organization.
On May 1, 2020, while on duty at Family Dollar, Calvin Munerlyn advised a young woman to wear a mask before entering the store. The woman’s mother becomes furious and spits at the security guard. The latter orders a cashier not to serve the recalcitrant customer.
The two women leave by car and return about twenty minutes later. They are accompanied by two men, the father and the brother of the young woman who refused to wear her face mask.
One of the men takes out a gun and shoots the security guard in the head. He was rushed to hospital, but only to be pronounced dead. It had only been a little over a month since Calvin Munerlyn worked at Family Dollar.
He had stopped working in nightclubs precisely to avoid exposing himself to the risks of violent confrontations. Ironically, he died in such circumstances as Family Dollar, considered a safe haven compared to nightclubs.
Munerlyn’s death took a heavy toll on the community. A flag was hoisted at the Michigan State Capitol in his memory and his family accepted the key to the town of Flint on his behalf. He was also posthumously named Parent of the Year at Madison Academy High School, where his daughter Cavetta Munerlyn received an excellent grade within days of his death.
Security guard killed during basketball game
Martinus “Mitch” Mitchum, a Tulane University police officer, 2nd City Court reserve officer, and Athlos Academy of Jefferson Parish registrar, worked as a security guard during a basketball game -ball at George Washington Carver High School in New Orleans, Louisiana when he was shot.
Mitchum, who was in uniform at the time of the incident, intervened in an altercation between John Shallerhorn and a school administrator because Shallerhorn was refused entry into the game for not refusing to wear his face mask . Mitchum intervened to escort the man out of the building.
The suspect, John Shallerhorn, 35, fired two shots at the time. One had hit Mitchum in the chest. Taken to the university medical center by paramedics, Mitchun was pronounced dead soon after.
“It hurts because he was one of the best,” said Lyn Clark, a former football player at O. Perry Walker High School where Mitchum worked from 2006 to 2016. “They killed someone. one who has helped so many African American students to come out of there and become something. He always supported everything. anyone. Everyone was to him “my son” or “my daughter”, added Clark.
“We would always tease him and tell Mitch that you have more kids than anyone for being so young. He annoyed me like a little brother sometimes, but he was so genuine and there was nothing he wouldn’t do. not for these kids, ”said Sheryl Eaglin, Mitchum’s former colleague.
A native of Detroit, Michigan, Mitchum was working in school security when he started. But he was transferred to other positions because of the way he looked after the children and his other skills, according to Tarance Davis, the school’s former athletic director. Mitchum was in charge of student data and registrations and also became the director of basketball and football operations.
“(Mitchum) was a dedicated police professional who was committed to serving the community of Tulane,” Tulane officials said in a statement.
A bus driver killed in maryland
Frankye Duckett, 49, was killed in January 2021. He worked for the Mobility Link program of the Maryland Transit Administration. It transported people with reduced mobility and the disabled around Baltimore.
On a Friday night in January 2021, Mr. Duckett drove to work from Pennsylvania, where he lived and hoped to retire in a few years, the Baltimore Sun reported.
That day, Mr. Duckett argued with the grandson of an elderly woman whom he had to transport. The argument allegedly started after Duckett told her grandson that he was not allowed to board the bus without a face mask. Then the driver left.
According to security footage, as the bus nears a stop, a man, who police say was the grandson, and who will be known as Marquis Poteat, gets out of a car and shoots M Duckett out the window before running off in the car. He will be arrested in April and charged with murder.
Employee shot dead in Germany
On September 18, 2021, a 20-year-old gas station employee was killed in Germany by a customer whose purchases he refused to cash for not wearing a mask.
It was a student who worked in a gas station. He had refused to cash a customer who wanted to buy a pack of beers because the latter was not wearing a mask.
Angry, the 49-year-old left, leaving his beers on the counter. He returned an hour and a half later, this time wearing a mask but removed it as he walked past the counter to elicit a reaction from the cashier. After being ordered to wear his mask correctly again, the client pulled a gun from his pocket and shot the student, who died instantly.
The suspect reported to the local police station the next day. He said he felt “cornered” by the measures relating to the Covid-19 pandemic which he perceived as a “growing violation of his rights” and that he had seen “no other way out”, said prosecutor Kai Fuhrmann.
Agriculture Minister Julia Klöckner, originally from the region, reported a “shocking” murder.
Bus driver killed in France
In France, Philippe Monguillot, a 59-year-old bus driver, was beaten to death on July 5, 2020 in Bayonne, in the southwest, after asking four passengers to wear face masks made mandatory on board public transport French due to the coronavirus. The driver was insulted, pushed off the bus and severely beaten and hit on the head.
Four people had been arrested but some had been released.
In memory of her husband, the widow of Philippe Monguillot, created an association bearing the name of her husband, in order to support and help bus drivers victims of attacks and violence.
A stabbed sentry
Also in France, a security guard was assaulted in Brest one night in August 2020 by a man who wanted to enter a bar without a mask.
After being refused entry, the man left before returning about 30 minutes later to the bar, stabbing the victim in the face. The victim’s life was saved only thanks to the intervention of the clients.
The sentry was operated on urgently for a serious eye injury. The assailant was arrested and presented to an examining magistrate. He was known to the police had admitted to being the perpetrator, reports Paris Match.
A nurse badly beaten up
On August 12, 2020, a 30-year-old nurse from Ville-Evrard hospital, in Neuilly-sur-Marne, was violently assaulted on a bus by three young men, including two 16-year-old teenagers, whom she asked to wear a mask.
The attackers were brought before a children’s judge who immediately requested their placement in pre-trial detention for “aggravated violence”.
Several other employees were attacked for wanting to apply measures against the coronavirus.
The American press also mentions the case of two men who were refused entry into a Californian store for refusing to wear masks. One of them allegedly hit an employee, breaking his arm.
BuzzFeed News reports that a man has been charged in Pennsylvania for repeatedly punching a store clerk in the face after he was told to wear a mask.
“The best and the worst”
“The problem with pandemics, especially COVID-19, is that they bring out the extremes. We had the best in people and the worst.”said Steven Taylor, author of 2019 The Psychology of Pandemics and Professor of Psychiatry at the Canadian University of British Columbia, as quoted by BuzzFeed News.