Businesses and cities across the country are demanding that people wear masks, which some people say violate their individual rights.
The spiral path of Melissa Rein Lively in Arizona Target was captured on video for all to see. She recorded herself destroying the mask’s display in early July – something she now says she regrets and is in treatment for mental illness.
In an exclusive interview with USA TODAY, Rein Lively, the CEO and founder of a public relations firm, said she lost all of her clients and her husband filed for divorce after the footage of her explosive-filled dust went viral.
“I think mental illness was really something that wasn’t addressed as a result of this pandemic,” she said. “Because of what happened to me it was awesome and changed my life forever. I felt like I had no control over my actions.”
After the mania broke out in the store, Rein Lively said she was taken for a psychiatric evaluation after her husband called police from their home. She said she remained in a mental health facility for more than a week.
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Conflicts in businesses from Costco to Trader Joe above that have been asked to wear masks that have erupted in recent weeks, are seen in viral videos of buyers ’tirades, as coronavirus cases increase.
At a Florida Wholesale Club in late June, Daniel Maples was caught in a viral video that showed him shouting at another customer during an argument over face masks. Maples said the video does not show the story and that since the video went viral, he lost his job and received hundreds of threatening texts, emails and emails.
For some who watch the videos, which come one after another quickly showing people fighting over masks or instigating a racial exchange, excuses for routine follow-up may fall on deaf ears. consequences of being misbehaved in public.
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Like Maples, Rein Lively said she received threatening messages after her July 4 trip to Target in Scottsdale, Arizona. She said she would go to a treatment program next week and wanted to share her story to let others who are struggling “know that they are not alone in facing mental illness.”
Experts say that for many people the negative impacts on mental health will overcome the current crises. Research suggests the extreme stress caused by these events may even lead to long-term psychiatric disorders. A recent study estimates alcohol deaths, overdose and suicide as people suffer amid the social isolation imposed by the pandemic could reach 150,000.
Rein Lively shared the video of pulling her masks down to Target on her social media accounts, but it went viral when Twitter user @RexChapman posted it and it was viewed as more than 10.1 million views by -Wednesday 7/29 at night .. In the video, she shows off her Rolex watch and stated it was worth $ 40,000.
In addition to working to regain her mental health, she says she knows she has work to do to restore her professional reputation.
“It will take a long time to rebuild trust from people. You know how to get my life and career back,” she said. “I love what I do and I’m passionate about what I do and I’m going to fight it.”
Extreme stress from the pandemic she said led to what she called a “bipolar episode of mania.”
“I can absolutely see that the way she acted was not hard not to mention the classless and completely out-of-character character for the way I led myself, professionally and personally,” she said.
Target was told in a statement to USA TODAY in early July that a “guest ransacked” the mask display at one of its Scottsdale stores and the Salt River Police Department were called for “additional support.”
Rein Lively said she grabbed all the masks and put them in a cart and offered to buy them but was told she couldn’t.
Although police spoke to her at Mira and let her go, when she got home, she said, her husband called police because of concerns about her mental state. She broadcast the exchange on Instagram. It was in that video that she told officials she had connections in the White House, asked officials to call President Trump and said she is a spokesman for QAnon.
“Everything I was doing was facetious and sarcastic and I realize now that the world, of course, took everything I was saying seriously like the fact that I really believed in it,” USA TODAY said. “I wasn’t arrested, I was taken for a mental health assessment. It was something that seemed to open my eyes to this whole process.”
Her husband, Jared Lively, told the Republic of Arizona, part of the US Network TODAY, that he started getting messages from friends who had seen the Target video on Instagram on July 4th. .
He said he feared it was an escalation of a long-term decline in his wife’s mental health and a continuation of a problem he said had manifested the previous year.
“There are a lot of people who have an episode of mania like this,” Jared Lively said in an interview with the Republic, noting that he received death threats. “They don’t just film it.”
Target will start requiring buyers of a nation to wear masks starting Saturday. Rein Lively said she now wears masks.
“I definitely want to respect others in the community and follow any mandates,” she said. “I understand that you know that masks are necessary for the business to continue to operate and that for me you obviously knew, my biggest frustration was all this.”
Contributing: Dalvin Brown, Alia E. Dastagir and Jayne O’Donnell, USA TODAY; Richard Ruelas, Republic of Arizona; Jake Allen, News-Press Fort Myers
Follow US TODAY reporter Kelly Tyko on Twitter: @KellyTyko
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