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Do you remember the crazy lady who destroyed a mask display at Target?
As it turns out, she blames the incident on her association with QAnon.
The Scottsdale, Ariz.-based PR professional, a self-described “type A” personality, had spent the pandemic barely eating, barely sleeping, barely socializing with friends. Instead, “I was all consumed with doom-scrolling on the Internet. I was living in these conspiracy theories. All of this fear porn that I was consuming online was just feeding my depression and anxiety.” She had found comfort in QAnon, a loose collection of conspiracy theories that touch on everything from politics to covid-19.
En route to grab the water, she noticed a display of masks, the ones to help prevent the coronavirus. “The culmination of everything I had experienced, like all that energy, just zeroed in on the masks. And I just snapped,” she said.
She took videos of what happened next and streamed them on Instagram Live. They quickly spread to other platforms, reported on by publications such as USA Today. She was labeled a Karen — and far worse. She thought her career was over. She thought her marriage was over. She thought her life was over.
As she tears the masks off the display and throws them at the ground, she repeatedly shouts expletives.
A later video shows her in the garage of her home, after her husband has summoned the police. She’s telling them that she’s the “QAnon spokesperson” and explains that she has been on the phone with President Trump “all the time.” They detain her to bring her to a nearby psychiatric facility, as she yells, “You’re doing this to me because I’m Jewish.”
After trying to repair her marriage and figure out the help she needed, she attended an eight-week trauma program at the Meadows, a rehabilitation facility in Wickenburg, Ariz. She swore off QAnon. She sent an apology letter to the employees of Target. She started a YouTube channel to discuss topics like mental health and conspiracy theories. Finally, in mid-August, a former client called to hire her, the first since the incident.