In a story that reminds everyone of why they might prefer to just Grubhub food, a store has had to throw out $35,000 of product. The reason? Because a woman intentionally coughed on it. The woman, who has not been named by authorities, reportedly coughed purposefully all over food in a Pennsylvania grocery store. She will likely face criminal charges for her actions.
Why Did She Cough on Food?
What would possess someone to cough on perfectly good food? According to police, the woman will be given a psychiatric assessment, but store staff believe she may have simply been maliciously pranking others in the store. The woman doesn’t appear to have COVID-19, but she will be tested for the disease as a precaution.
The woman’s actions seem to have just been as a joke, but the underlying anxieties in the era of a pandemic are far from funny. The main way the COVID-19 disease spreads is through respiratory droplets. The best way to expel such droplets is by coughing. Taking action to cough all over perfectly good food in the middle of a pandemic is a surprising move. A move that, in fact, elicited a police response in the Pennsylvania town.
Police Respond to Coughing Shopper
The woman was shopping at Gerrity’s Supermarket in Hanover Township, Pennsylvania. Workers in the shop escorted her out of the building after she coughed on some $35,000 worth of food. Sadly, the grocery store will have to dispose of all the food that has been coughed on.
Joe Fasula, co-owner of the chain, stated that he was disgusted with the woman’s actions. “I am absolutely sick to my stomach about the loss of food,” the co-owner wrote. “While it is always a shame when food is wasted, in these times when so many people are worried about the security of our food supply, it is even more disturbing.”
What Criminal Charges Could She Face?
One might think the charges for a prank would be mild. During this pandemic, however, that is not the case. The Justice Department confirmed on Wednesday that threatening to spread COVID-19 could be classified as an act of terrorism. People threatening to cough on others or goods with the intent of spreading the disease could be charged with making “terroristic threats.”
They could even face full-blown domestic terrorism charges.
The Justice Department, in a memo, noted that the COVID-19 causing coronavirus meets the criteria for a “biological agent.” As such, threatening to use the virus as a weapon against Americans was, in essence, a terrorist act.