Lisa Wilkinson has described an incident involving a Victorian woman refusing to wear a mask while visiting a Bunnings store as a “waste of time and energy” and has commended Bunnings staff for their handling of the “pandemic denier”.
“I think most of us have seen that footage today, of that pandemic denier having a very strong discussion, mostly on her side, with the staff at Bunnings,” Wilkinson said on The Sunday Project.
The woman, who has been labelled ‘Karen from Bunnings’ can be seen refusing to wear a mask in the store in a video circulating on social media. When the Bunnings staff asked her politely to put on a mask, she said her human rights were being violated.
She went on threatening to sue the store and the individual staff members involved, before being briefly handcuffed by police outside.
Wait til this Karen finds out about ‘no shoes, no shirt, no service’. pic.twitter.com/2dvLE90dOa— cam smith (@sexenheimer) July 25, 2020
“We have to say, first up, those staff at Bunnings were extraordinary,” Wilkinson said. “They were patient, they were polite, they were professional, they never lost focus the whole time.”
Wilkinson spoke to Professor Marylouise McLaws, an advisor to the World Health Organisation, asking her how we can ensure “pandemic deniers” comply with the mask-wearing requirement.
“We either need to address those people’s concerns about individuality accurately or take the oxygen away from a group that are just not getting on-board,” McLaws said.
Wilkinson later explained the facts relating to COVID-19 restrictions and mask-wearing in Victoria.
“Australian law says that private landowners or occupiers can take reasonable steps to protect themselves, their employees and people on their property,” she said.
“So, it would be legal for business including cafes and supermarkets to make it a condition of entry that customers wear a mask and sanitise their hands.
“End of story. They have every right”.