A maskless woman who was recorded deliberately coughing at a mother and her child at a grocery store in Nebraska has been fired from her job.
A clip of the incident involving the woman, identified as 54-year-old Janene Hoskovec, at a Super Saver in Lincoln went viral after it was posted onto Reddit on September 3.
During the clip, entitled “Anti-Mask Karen Deliberately Coughing on me at South 27th Super Saver,” Hoskovec is seen coughing at the woman, who is recording her, before telling others shoppers they are “such sheep” and that she doesn’t need to wear a mask because: “I’m not sick and neither are you.”
Hoskovec then smiles and claims that it’s her allergies that are causing her to cough.
The city of Lincoln has a mask mandate requiring all people over two years old to cover their faces indoors, even if they are vaccinated.
The clip was later posted on Twitter, where it has since been viewed more than 4 million times.
After the footage went viral, German software company SAP said it would be investigating as it was reported that the woman in the footage was one of its employees.
“The health and safety of our employees and the communities in which we live and work are of utmost concern to us,” the company tweeted. “We are taking the matter of an SAP employee incident very seriously and investigating the situation.”
On Wednesday, the company added: “We have reviewed the incident and can confirm that the individual in question no longer works for SAP.”
According to Hoskovec’s LinkedIn page, she worked in Tempe at the Arizona branch of SAP.
The woman who first posted the clip on Reddit also described how Hoskovec continued to follow her around the store after the original confrontation.
“I then tried to continue my shopping, but this lady followed me around the store. I told her she needs to keep her distance and that her coughing on me was assault,” she said.
“She laughed and kept saying: ‘Look at you, it’s so cute how scared you are!’ By this time I was absolutely livid, trying my best to hold it together in front of my kid. I didn’t finish my shopping, instead I went to the self checkout to pay for my stuff. Next she followed me to use the self checkout right next to mine,” she added.
“I informed the employee manning the checkouts that this woman had assaulted me in the store by coughing deliberately on me, but I didn’t wait around to see what the employee would say in response. I just really wanted to get us the heck out of there.”
A man who says he is the father of the child also tweeted that Hoskovec had “instigated the whole thing.”
He added: “Picked a mother/child to harass. Think they just wanted to get away. Lady kept following them. Some other folks stepped in.
“The Super Saver they were at didn’t really do anything—tell the lady to leave/wear mask, etc.. they just broke it up.”
The Lincoln Police Department has been contacted for comment.