A woman in Taichung City caused tongues to wag, and sent the local media into a frenzy yesterday, after she was spotted walking around without wearing a surgical mask.
The woman was seen near the Zhonghua Road Night Market, June 11, at around noon.
Not only was the woman not wearing a surgical mask, but she was not wearing any kind of personal protective equipment (PPE) at all.
Carrying only a large, black handbag, and donning a pair of slippers, the woman seemed completely oblivious to people staring and taking pictures as she approached a juice stand and ordered a papaya milk.
Taiwan is currently under a Level 3 epidemic prevention alert, and people are supposed to wear a mask at all times when outside of their homes. However, the maskless woman defied regulations and walked from Zhonghua Road in Taichung City’s North District to Dacheng Street in the Central District.
It is also an offense to be naked in public, some reports noted. However, under the current circumstances, the lack of surgical mask was of greater concern to the public and authorities. The incident occured at a critical juncture of epidemic prevention, Apple Daily noted, when “those who do not wear a mask are often regarded as public enemies.”
“It doesn’t matter if you don’t wear clothes, but you are really damned if you don’t wear a mask,” one comment read on a popular Taiwan gaming forum.
By the time police responding to reports arrived at the scene, the woman was nowhere to be seen. However, the woman was later identified and her family was informed of the incident.
According to reports, the 47-year-old woman was known to be suffering from “emotional distress,” but this is the first time she had gone shopping naked.
Police have contacted the Taichung City Health Bureau to discuss follow up treatment for the woman.
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