Yesterday evening around 5:45, I had to make a quick stop into the Walgreens on West Bay Avenue in Barnegat. I just had a couple essentials we needed to pick up, so it should have been an uneventful five minutes, in-and-out, done-and-done.

As soon as I walked in, I noticed a conflict going on at the front register. Three customers were arguing with three employees. As I walked the aisles, I was able to glean what the issue was - apparently they bought a prepaid card, but when they tried to use it there was no money on it. The employee tried to calm the situation, but the customer wasn't having it, and starting to get loud. Once I got what I needed, I was heading back to the register, and that's when things got real loud.

As the employee continued to try to explain why they couldn't help with the particular issue, the customer started insulting them, and it escalated to a point where she said "go f**k yourself, I'm gonna cough on everyone here and give you all corona."  That is when I noped outta there, and went to the pharmacy in the back to pay for my stuff. The store manager was immediately on the phone with the Barnegat Police, who are stationed right across the intersection from that Walgreens, and within minutes three officers were there.

It was a crazy sight to see a police officer in a bright white hazmat suit and mask, with a bullet-proof vest over the top of it.

(c) Varacchi
(c) Varacchi

I'm kicking myself for not busting out my phone and recording the whole thing, but I had a couple reasons. (1) my family was waiting in the car (we had just come from a doctor's appointment, I wouldn't have just had them tag along for a quick trip) so I didn't want to make them wait much longer, and (2) honestly, you know how you can just tell some people are sort of...not upstanding citizens? Not exactly the "city fathers" type. So I could tell that if these people saw me with my phone out, their venom would've been turned on me, so I passed.

I get that in all likelihood, this woman didn't really have the coronavirus. She was frustrated with the situation, we're all getting worn down by quarantine, we're all on edge moreso than usual...but that doesn't give anyone the excuse to make a joke about having a highly contagious, potentially fatal disease and spreading it intentionally.

I reached out to our news department to see if any charges were filed, because I've read a bunch of other stories where people got arrested and charged with "terroristic threats" after saying they had corona. I'll update if I get any more info! UPDATE: no charges were filed by the Barnegat PD.

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