Smiling Nebraska 'Karen' coughs on customer at store, says she doesn't need mask
Janene Hoskovek was caught smiling as she coughs in a store without a mask, says 'it's my allergies' in a viral video, gets slammed on social media
A 'Karen' in Nebraska was caught coughing at a supermarket, while firmly refusing to mask up. On September 7, a Twitter user posted a TikTok video showing a woman smiling, as she continues to cough in the store despite being asked to stop by other customers. The video identified the woman as Janene Hoskovek, who is now receiving a lot of furious backlash online for her actions.
Hoskovek's actions aren't unique. All over the US, thousands of anti-maskers and anti-vaxxers have resorted to dramatics in a bid to make it clear they don't care about the pandemic. In March, Stephanie Denaro of New York City was nicknamed 'Bagel Karen' for refusing to cover her face at a bagel store. In June 2020, a Flordia woman was caught coughing on a brain tumor patient who recorded her threatening workers at a Jacksonville store. In October 2020, we also reported on Robert Brissette, a Trump supporter who was caught coughing on a group of Black Lives Matter demonstrators in Utah.
These are just some of the many, many stories of anti-maskers deciding to wantonly spread fear and chaos, rather than simply mask up. It's unclear who exactly caught Hoskovek being dramatic, but the footage went viral in hours after it was reshared by Danesh, on TikTok and Twitter who identified her.
Who is Janene Hoskovek?
A resident of Lincoln, Nebraska, Hoskovek works at IT giant SAP, according to her LinkedIn profile. Her profile lists her place of work as Temple, Arizona, but the footage was captured at the Super Saver in Lincoln, Nebraska. She has also previously worked at NASA and IBM, as well as at HP according to LinkedIn. The profile also says Hoskovek studied at the United States Air Force Academy, as well as Arizona State University and the University of Colorado.
Little else is known about Hoskovek. Her Facebook profile doesn't appear to have any anti-mask or anti-vaccine posts, just personal photos. We did find a Twitter account in her name, but there were no tweets made. She also doesn't appear to have been in the news before. It's unclear where exactly Hoskovek currently lives, her LinkedIn profile says she is a resident of Scottsdale, Arizona. There is no place of residence listed on Facebook, but Danesh did share a profile that indicates she currently lives in Lincoln.
"What you did is a crime. And a lot of people got into a lot of trouble over it, and now it's your turn," Danesh said in the video, where he shared the incident at the store, as well as Hoskovek's information. The video shows Hoskovek coughing while smiling at the person recording it. "Excuse me," she says while continuing to cough. Another person, off-camera yells "I don't know whether you are sick or not." To which Hoskovek replies, "it's my allergies."
When asked why she doesn't have a mask, Hoskovek replies, "because I don't need to have one on. I'm not sick and neither are you." Later, she tells the people around her, "maybe I have a medical condition," hinting that's why she doesn't wear a mask. However, that directly contradicts her earlier statement about not being sick. She also claimed medical exemption when approached by a store worker. It's unclear how the confrontation ended.
'Select Another Person' jokes internet
Shortly after Danesh's tweet, multiple users began slamming Hoskovek and also dragged SAP into the debate. "Lady needs a 72-hour observation, followed by permanent institutionalization," one user replied. Another said, "Just fake coughing on someone regardless of covid or anything is disgusting." One user tweeted, "Hey, @SAP - this is one of your employees. Is she faithfully representing SAP's principles and values while out in public here???"
Lady needs a 72 hour observation, followed by permanent institutionalization.— mikeS (@MikeS19671973) September 8, 2021
Just fake coughing on someone regardless of covid or anything is disgusting.— AL (@LeslieDaFrog) September 8, 2021
Hey, @SAP - this is one of your employees. Is she faithfully representing SAP's principles and values while out in public here???— Joe's Waste of Time (@alphadork) September 8, 2021
"Looks like SAP needs to Select Another Person," one user joked. Another mocked, "If you’re going to get in trouble on Twitter, It doesn’t help to have a very unique name." A user poked fun at her LinkedIn bio and tweeted, "Someone is going to learn a lot about the "complexities of digital transformation"."
Looks like SAP needs to Select Another Person— Ben Kenobi's Beard (@BenkenobiSbeard) September 8, 2021
If you’re going to get in trouble on Twitter, It doesn’t help to have a very unique name.— Daniel Stein (@danielstein) September 8, 2021
Someone is going to learn a lot about the "complexities of digital transformation". 😀— Laurie Morris (@fabulaurie) September 8, 2021
There's still a lot we don't know about the incident, such as whether charges were filed against Hoskovek. For now, though, she appears to still be an employee of SAP, but that could quickly change. Many anti-maskers have been fired after their actions have gone viral on social media, so it is possible SAP could follow suit. Meanwhile, the Delta variant continues to rip through the US, with record numbers being hospitalized.