Back in early July, Melissa Rein Lively was at a Target in Scottsdale, Arizona, when she saw a display of masks. Apparently having had enough of the COVID-19 pandemic, she took out her frustration on the display, throwing the masks about while shouting obscenities.
Twitter user @RexChapman shared the video on the social media platform, and it went viral from there. The video can be seen below, but be warned, it contains strong language.Now, three weeks later, the woman in that video, identified as Melissa Rein Lively, says that she regrets what she did.
"I can absolutely see that how I acted was unbelievably inappropriate not to mention classless and just completely out of character for how I conduct myself, professionally and personally," she said.
She further believes that the stress from the pandemic caused her to lose her cool, and says that she likely had a "manic bipolar episode."
She says that, following the incident, her husband called the police on her out of concern, and she was taken for a psychiatric evaluation. She says she spent a week in a mental health facility, and is now getting treatment for mental illness.
She believes that the toll this pandemic is taking on mental health needs to be discussed more openly.
"I think mental illness has been really something that has not been addressed as a result of this pandemic. Because what happened to me was scary and it changed my life forever," she said.
Experts believe that the psychological impacts of the coronavirus quarantine will be felt long after the disease is under control, as the stress from isolation, job loss, and other factors could trigger long-lasting psychiatric harm. Some experts even predict tens of thousands of suicides directly or indirectly related to the virus when the dust has finally settled.
Meanwhile, Lively says that her life has been turned upside down from the mask-destroying incident. Her husband has filed for divorce, and she has lost all of her clients from the public relations firm she headed.
Outside of Arizona, the matter of masks has led to other incidents that have made headlines. As previously reported by The Inquisitr, disputes over the face coverings have led to assaults and even fatal shootings.
As for Lively, she says that she hopes to regain the trust of the customers she's lost and put her life back together.