The Arizona woman who destroyed a mask display at a Target store earlier this month said the incident was triggered due to "manic bipolar episode." Melissa Rein Lively also revealed that she had undergone treatment for the mental illness.
Lively hit headlines for posting a video of herself vandalizing the face mask display at the Target store and condemning people for practicing social distancing norms. Dubbed as 'Arizona Karen' by Twitter, she asked the store employees whether they would ask her to stop ransacking the display only because she was "blonde White woman wearing a f**king $40,000 Rolex."
Following the incident, Lively underwent a psychiatric evaluation and stayed in a mental health facility for over a week.
"I think mental illness has been really something that has not been addressed as a result of this pandemic," Lively told USA Today in an interview. "Because what happened to me was scary and it changed my life forever. I felt I had absolutely no control over my actions."
Lively, a public relations company founder from Scottsdale, claimed that she was stressed due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and blamed her actions on a "manic bipolar" episode. "I can absolutely see that how I acted was unbelievably inappropriate not to mention classless and just completely out of character for how I conduct myself, professionally and personally," she told the interviewer.
In the minute-long video of the incident, Lively could be seen heading to the face mask display section in the store. She then began throwing the masks on the floor.
"Finally we meet the end of the road. I've been looking forward to this s**t all my f*cking life. So, Target, I'm not playing any more f*cking games. This sh** is f*cking over," Lively said in the video.
After the video went viral, police arrived at her house to question her and she told the officers that she was hired by the White House to be a QAnon spokesperson. When the cops did not buy her story, Lively alleged that she was discriminated against because she was a Jew. "You're doing this to me because I am Jewish. This a Nazi f**king game. This is Nazi bulls**t," she said.
Health experts across the world have urged people to wear a mask in public to avoid getting infected by the coronavirus. However, a section of people has refused to follow the guidelines alleging that it infringed their human rights.
Recently, an Australian woman was arrested for not wearing a mask at a hardware store in Melbourne. She said it was "unlawful" and "discriminatory" of the store employees to force her wear a mask. In another incident, a woman refused to wear a mask inside an American Airlines flight bound to North Carolina from Ohio. She was forced out of the flight as other passengers cheered at the move.