Nebraska ‘Karen’ deliberately coughing at shoppers gets fired from job
Janene Hoskovec, dubbed 'Coughing Karen' now has to find a new gig after her antics at a grocery store went viral
Janine Hoskovec, of Arizona, is now out of a job after she was filmed coughing on a mother and daughter who were shopping at a Super Saver grocery store in Lincoln, Nebraska.
The incident occurred on Sept. 3 and quickly went viral after it was shared on Reddit under the title “Anti-Mask Karen Deliberately Coughing on me at South 27th Super Saver,” Newsweek reports. Hoskovec, 54, is accused of harassing shoppers because they were wearing masks amid the never-ending COVID-19 pandemic.
Hoskovec was seen coughing on the woman who is recording her, before calling other shoppers “sheep.” She also proudly proclaims that she doesn’t wear masks because: “I’m not sick and neither are you.”
The 13-year-old daughter of the woman who filmed the encounter shared the clip on TikTok. The girl’s father, who was not at the store, posted the video on Twitter and wrote, “She instigated the whole thing. 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.”
At one point, Hoskovec smiles and claims her allergies are causing her to cough. Watch the moment via the Twitter embed below.
The Reddit user who posted the video, Jessabird, said in her post, “So my kid and I were at the store tonight to pick up a few groceries when this lady approached us and said politely, ‘Excuse me,’ and to be honest I thought she was going to ask me for help or ask where something was. I was about to say ‘I don’t work here, lady,’ when she asked why we were wearing masks. That’s when I realized that she wasn’t wearing one herself.
I started walking away, while replying, ‘Because of the Delta variant, and also because there’s a mandate.’ Then she went on about how she was born and raised here in Nebraska, and it’s too bad that some Nebraskans have turned into sheep. She asked if I’ve had a vaccine and said that my kid and I don’t need to wear masks because we look young and healthy. There were several other people around wearing masks but for some reason she chose to pick on me and my kid.”
Jessabird continued, “I told her she needs to keep her distance and that her coughing on me was assault. 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. 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.”
The clip has been viewed more than 4 million times on Twitter.
The city of Lincoln has mandated all vaccinated and unvaccinated people to wear a mask at all non-residential indoor spaces.
Hoskovec worked in Tempe at the Arizona branch of SAP, according to her now-deleted LinkedIn profile. The German software company responded to her internet fame in a statement posted to Twitter: “The health and safety of our employees and the communities in which we live and work are of utmost concern to us. 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.”
The internet has dubbed Hoskovec ‘Coughing Karen.’