Coronavirus cases are rising in the US once again, putting the country at risk of a devastating third wave (despite never entirely recovering from the first or second). Face masks are a proven way of helping to slow the spread, yet their wearing has become a politicized, and very polarized, issue. It's mandatory to don a mask while riding public transit in NYC, behavior that's encouraged by plenty of signage, and the threat of a $50 fine to those who don't comply. Still, some people, for whatever reason, just won't do it, even when offered a free mask or reasoned with. Gothamist posted a video from Toby Medlyn, who encountered one such person on a recent trip on the Queens-bound J train to Marcy Avenue. "I witnessed him refuse three people offering him a mask to wear, then proceed to cough in his hand and touch the subway poles next to him," Toby told Gothamist. "At that point, I decided to call him out after seeing his refusal and blatant disregard of public safety."

Nor was Toby alone; a good portion of the car joined him in his attempt to convince with the maskless man, who said his name was Justice, to put one on, only to be met with such sloganeering as, "I live by my principles. It's the little things that diminish your soul. I don't wear a muzzle."

Justice also called mask-wearing "a cult thing going on here" and insisted that they didn't work against COVID. "This is the terror of America," he said. "This is the terror. You frightened people, you frightened fucking people, and you're gonna tell me what's up. Are you a scientist?"

Toby told Gothamist he sent them the video to show the ongoing issues the city has with mask usage, but said, "It was nice to see that still the greater majority of New Yorkers are bound together in care for the greater good of each other. [The man] did decide to go into the other train car at the next stop. I thanked the people who offered him the mask. Literally every single passenger in that car was wearing a mask."

Watch the video below.

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