Ice cream shop owner shares passionate note defending teen workers harassed over mask policy

As more and more videos of adults throwing tantrums over being asked to wear masks go viral, one has to feel for the employees on the receiving end of such behavior. It's hard enough to have to work serving the public during a pandemic. Having to politely but firmly deal with irate customers taking their angst out on you, especially when you have no control over policies or legal mandates, must be endlessly frustrating.

One might assume that grown-ups would rise above the urge to harass teenagers who are just trying to do their job serving them in the safest way possible, but that's unfortunately not always the case.

The owner of Mootown Creamery, an ice cream shop in Ohio, called out the folks who have been attacking her young female employees. Angela Brooks wrote on the shop's Facebook page:


I've been trying not to say anything, but it is getting out of control. 🛑 STOP!!! 🛑 Stop yelling at these young girls. Stop slamming doors. Stop swearing at them and making a scene. STOP!!! These girls are wearing masks for YOUR protection. They are required by the state to wear them, and they do so with a smile because they care about you and your safety. In order to protect them and our other guests, I made the decision to require face masks in our store. I made that decision, not them!

Do you know how hard it is to work a summer rush in a face mask? With a line of customers to the door, some waiting outside, online orders dinging on a tablet, the phone ringing off the hook -- and then have a customer throw a temper tantrum in the store calling the girls "paranoid" or "anti-american" or even worse - CUSS AT THEM! (Does it feel good to make a 16 year old girl cry in the bathroom? Or sob on her way home from work? Does that make you feel better about Covid? How would you feel if someone did this to your child?)

Knock it off!!!!!! I get it. This sucks. Covid is one of the most awful things many of us have experienced in our lifetime. Our lives are flipped upside down. Businesses are closing. Some of us are still out of work. We are stressed out, worried, and frustrated. However that is no excuse to take out your frustrations on teenage kids serving ice cream! (Most of which this is their first job!) Are you serious?! What control do they possibly have over the situation?

You are not welcome here if you have that little respect for us. It is not about the sales. Go somewhere else if you want to behave that way. The customers who are respectful, loving, understanding and kind are welcome at Mootown. We serve ice cream and smiles. If going out for ice cream puts you in that much of a bad mood, stay home!! You are not going to ruin the experience for everyone else.

We offer curbside pickup, outdoor ordering, online ordering, delivery to your home, phone orders -- there are a dozen different ways for you to place an order and still maintain your rights to not wear a mask. If you don't have a mask or don't believe in social distancing - we respect that. We'll take your order in any of those several ways, or understand if you don't come back until after Covid. But you don't get to walk in the store and yell at the girls. THAT STOPS NOW!!!

To those of you who haven't been absolute monsters during all of this -- THANK YOU!!!! We love you, appreciate you, and look forward to seeing you soon! 🐮🍦

Brooks set up a "virtual tip jar" for the girls through GoFundMe, which she said would be split evenly between the 16 part-time employees, many of whom are working to pay for college or saving to buy a car. Though the initial goal was $500, people have donated nearly $10,000 in a week.

In addition to the money, people have left supportive messages on the GoFundMe page, which hopefully help balance out the terrible treatment these girls have had to endure.

"Consider us buying virtual ice cream with a smile on our faces. Yum! These are exceptional times and we all have to be more generous and thoughtful and caring with each other to get through them. Thank you all for doing the right thing!"

"These young people deserve it. Bullying a bunch of teenagers just trying to do a job and save money is despicable. I hope this shows them that there are good people out here who recognize the difficulties they face just trying work a job to save money."

"Thank you for standing on the side of sanity and the health of the community!"

"I donated because the owner stood up for her employees. And the owner is a valued member of the Berea, Ohio community. She is providing first jobs to young ladies and these LADIES need to know they are appreciated."

Even in all of the madness and mayhem of the moment, it's heartening to see people rally around those who are following public health recommendations and doing what needs to be done to protect everyone—even those who may not appreciate it.


Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
True

Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

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In a North Carolina neighborhood that looks like a present-day Pleasantville, a man carries a cup of coffee and a plate of brownies out to his car. "Good mornin!" he calls cheerfully to a neighbor jogging by. As he sets his coffee cup on the hood of the car, he says, "I need to wash my car." Well, shucks. His wife enters the camera frame on the other side of the car.

So far, it's just about the most classic modern Americana scene imaginable. And then...

A horrifying "rrrrawwwww!" Blood-curdling screaming. Running. Panic. The man abandons the brownies, races to his wife's side of the car, then emerges with an animal in his hands. He holds the creature up like Rafiki holding up Simba, then yells in its face, "Oh my god! It's a bobcat! Oh my god!"

Then he hucks the bobcat across the yard with all his might.

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Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
True

Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

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