The Infection Spreads: Anti-masker violence is here

The Taiwan government has done a remarkable job at keeping COVID-19 out, and getting it under control when the mass outbreak happened.  Although conditions now are no different than in May before the outbreak, the rules on masks have been kept in place.  People don’t like it, but nearly everyone complies because of the government’s credibility.  Tsai and her cabinet could win a third term unopposed if an election happened right now.

Unfortunately, there are fanatics who see themselves as exempt, who bristle at having to wear a mask everywhere outside their home.  They have started spreading anti-mask and anti-vax nonsense.  The government can’t do much about Taiwanese citizens who say it, but I wish they would round up and deport foreigners who spread it.  Especially when there are laws about spreading misinformation and fines for those who do.

But the worst part is the anti-masker violence.  Two cases may sound few, but it’s the ferocity of the violence that galls me, hospitalizing the first and the second died from stab wounds.

From May:

Convenience store clerk beaten up by customer who refused to comply with epidemic control measures

A convenience store clerk in New Taipei City was sent to hospital after being beaten up by a man who refused to comply with the requirement to wear a mask and register his name and phone number when visiting the store, today, May 17.

At around 7:00 am this morning a 50-year-old man, named Lai, entered a High Life convenience store in Tucheng District, without wearing a surgical mask. A 22-year-old clerk named Zhuo requested he put on a mask and comply with the name-registration system.

Video of the incident shows Lai complying with the clerk’s request to put on a mask. However, when the clerk insisted Lai leave his name and phone number as required for possible contact tracing measures, Lai refused, and finally lost his temper and attacked the young man, hitting him with a motorcycle helmet before punching and kicking him.

From Sunday:

Convenience store clerk stabbed to death after asking customer to wear mask

A convenience store clerk in Taoyuan City died after being stabbed in the chest by a customer he had asked to put on a mask this morning, November 21.

According to reports, a 41-year-old man named Chiang entered a 7-11 store on Guangfeng Road in Guishan District at around 5:00 am. The 30-year-old clerk, named Tsai, requested that Chiang put on a facemask according to epidemic prevention regulations.

[. . .]

Chiang left the store, but returned for a third time and demanded the clerk step out from behind the counter. According to witnesses who called the police, Tsai and Chiang scuffled before Chiang allegedly stabbed Tsai in the left side chest three times.

Noticeably, both cases happened in the early hours of the morning.  It makes me wonder if the attackers feel a sense of “anonymity” when almost no one is around at that time of day.

Some foreigners also rail against vaccines, blathering about “freedumb”.  Vaccination is mandatory for immigrants unless we have a medical exemption, and I doubt many do.

My sister Katisen is Taiwanese and taking HRT so she is exempt.  It’s likely Transgender foreigners are also exempt.  I don’t take it because estrogen nearly caused me to have a heart attack or a stroke when I was on it.


  1. Bruce says

    I had felt that Taiwan had a good international reputation as a country where people were sensible and scientific, and were considerate of everyone else in the community. I was wishing that the USA could be more like that, to make things nicer for me. It’s a shame that two individuals have threatened Taiwan’s good reputation with their unkind stupidity. I hope that society in Taiwan can persuade everyone else to be sensible and not be an ignorant ugly Bubba.

  2. Ichthyic says

    There are a small percentage of Kiwis that are antivax here, but they did participate in a protest here a couple of weeks ago. It was organized by the only evangelical “megachurch” leader here in NZ (Brian Tamaki), who was originally funded by religious conman Thomas Weeks (from the USA).

    …and a lot of the protesters were waving Trump 2020 flags. No, really. You are absolutely correct that foreign influence is the main reason behind a lot of antivaxxer protests around the world. Somebody obviously sees this as a chance to cause instability.