Businesses and cities across the country are demanding that people wear masks that some people say violate their individual rights.


Melissa Rein Lively’s spiral in an Arizona target was captured in a video for everyone to see. In early July, she noticed the destruction of the mask – something she now says regrets and cures mental illness.

In an exclusive interview with USA TODAY, Rein Lively, CEO and founder of the public relations company, said she had lost all of her clients and her husband had filed for divorce when the videos of her incomplete loans became viral.

“I think mental illness was really something that was not addressed as a result of this pandemic,” she said. “Because what happened to me was scary and it changed my life forever. I felt that I had absolutely no control over my actions. “

After her manic meltdown in the store, Rein Lively said she was admitted for a psychiatric examination after her husband called the police from home. She said she stayed in a mental health facility for more than a week.

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Conflicts in businesses ranging from Costco to Trader Joe that have been asked to wear masks have erupted in recent weeks, as seen in buyers’ virus videos of tirers as coronavirus cases rise sharply.

At the Florida Costco wholesale club in late June, Daniel Maples was captured in a viral video that shouted at another customer during a face mask dispute. Maples said the video did not tell the story and that he had lost his job and received hundreds of threatening texts, emails and voicemails since the video became viral.

For some who have watched videos that have appeared in quick succession that show people fighting for masks or stealing a racially charged exchange, the routines of subsequent excuses may be calmed due to the consequences of misbehaving in public.

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Like Maples, Rein Lively said she received dire news after her July 4 goal in Scottsdale, Arizona. She said she would come to the treatment program next week and wanted to share her story so that others would fight “knowing they were not alone in mental illness.”

Experts say that for many people, the negative effects on mental health will survive the current crises. Research suggests that extreme stress caused by these events may even lead to longer-term psychiatric disorders. A recent study estimates that deaths from alcohol overdoses, drug overdoses and suicides, as people suffer from social isolation caused by a pandemic, can reach 150,000.

Rein Lively shares a video of his download masks down on Target on his social media accounts, but became viral when posted by Twitter @RexChapman and viewed more than 10.1 million views since Wednesday 7/29. In a video, she shows off her Rolex watch and said it was worth $ 40,000.

In addition to working to restore her mental health, she says she knows she must do everything she can to restore her reputation.

“It will take me a long time to rebuild people’s trust, you know, when my life and career get back on track,” she said. “I love what I do, and I’m excited about what I do, and I’ll fight it.”

The extreme stress of the pandemic, she said, triggered what she called a “manic bipolar episode.”

“I can totally see that what I did was incredibly inappropriate not to mention classless and just completely out of character, how to behave, professionally and personally,” she said.

Target said in a US statement TODAY in early July that a “guest looted” a mask at one of its Scottsdale stores and the Salt River Police Department was asked for “additional support.”

Rein Lively said she picked up all the masks, put them in the basket and offered to buy them, but was told she couldn’t.

Although police spoke to her in Target and let her go when she returned home, they said her husband called the police for fear of her mental state. She revived the exchange on Instagram. It was in that video that she told the officers that she had contacts in the White House, asked the officers to call President Trump and said that she was a spokeswoman for QAnon.

“Everything I did was fake and sarcastic, and now I realize that the world took everything I said seriously, as if I really believed it,” the United States said TODAY. “I was not arrested, I was accepted for a mental health assessment. That was something that really opened up to me for the whole process. “

Her husband, Jared Lively, told the Republic of Arizona, part of the US TODAY Network, that on July 4, he began receiving text messages from friends who saw the target video on Instagram.

He said he feared it was an escalation of his wife’s daily mental health decline and the continuation of the problem, which he said had manifested a year earlier.

“There are a lot of people who have a manic episode like this,” Jared Lively said during an interview with the Republic, noting that he was threatened with death. “They just don’t film it.”


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The goal will be to require shoppers across the country to wear masks from Saturday. Rein Lively said she now wears masks.

“I definitely want to respect others in the community and abide by all mandates,” she said. “I understand you know that masks are needed for you to continue to function, which for me was, of course, you know, my greatest frustration.”

Contributors: Dalvin Brown, Alia E. Dastagir and Jayne O’Donnell, USA TODAY; Richard Ruelas, Republic of Arizona; Jake Allen, Fort Myers press release

Follow US TODAY reporter Kelly Tyko on Twitter: @KellyTyko

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