photo montage of Sandrella Zadikian, a woman who went on a tirade at a newly opened Trader Joe's market in North Hollywood, California over being requested to wear a mask in the store.

More COVID-19 Denialism And More Mask Hysteria

by Richard Cameron

More COVID-19 Denialism And More Mask Hysteria

Here we are at the end of June and although it is certain that 128,686 Americans have died from COVID-19, Trumpublicans are still entertaining denialism about the pandemic.  It’s more likely than not that the death toll is an undercount, not an overcount as the conspiracy theories maintain. 

Tens of thousands die, not in a hospital, but in their homes, with symptoms that most strongly indicate COVID-19, but because they weren’t tested before or after they died, the death is not classified in county and state records as a death related to the coronavirus.

The Uncounted Dead

Many still ignore settled science in preference of unfounded rumor and debunked claims. Most prominent among them is, “I’m no risk to anyone, I have no symptoms, so I’m not infected or contagious.” This is usually in response to people attempting to defend their social distancing space or to retail stores requiring the donning of protective facial coverings.

The false equivalence of no symptoms = no infection = no contagion, has tragic outcomes. One of them is from California.

We will, in this example, stipulate that according to the family, the death of their relative is not consequential to any careless behavior. Despite that – and there is room for speculation on the circumstances, the net result of almost the entire family testing positive for COVID-19, illustrates the fallacy of the assumptions behind refusals to obey sound community mitigation practices.

Vidal Garay, 60, was hospitalized on June 1 and passed on June 20, after testing positive for the virus. His son, Richard, 27, was symptomatic at the same time. “Within days, our health just deteriorated.  It went from, you know, one day being OK to I can’t breathe, I can’t get up, I cannot eat.”

Both men spent some time quarantining at home, but both eventually wound up in intensive care. “I’m like, ‘Dad, I don’t think I’m going to make it,’” Richard said. “That was the last thing I told my father, and the last thing my dad saw was his son suffocating.”

Richard’s father had pre-existing immune system vulnerabilities – a rare form of anemia and had been in recovery from a bout with Leukemia. 27 other members of the family also tested positive, but did not experience the life threatening symptoms of Richard or the life ending symptoms of his father Vidal.

The one thing we can take away from this tragedy, is that inevitably, when someone dies of the novel coronavirus, the infection was spread by someone not taking this pandemic seriously. Quite likely it is someone who thinks it is a hoax, as Trump has described it and who resists the common sense dictates of public health directives and advisories.

Over the course of the last 4 months, we have been covering the phenomena of shoppers acting out in militant fashion, sometimes becoming violent when faced with the request or requirement of using a protective facial covering while patronizing a retail establishment. 

Here was one of several of our reports:

This sort of behavior, has not diminished, but instead, has maintained momentum, even with the last month’s new spike in the first wave of the pandemic. And this weekend, it reared it’s ugly head once again at a newly opened Trader Joe’s market in North Hollywood:   

The shopper that recorded this kerfuffle added a short narration to it, referring to the antagonist as “Karen”, but who has subsequently been identified as, Sandrella Zadikian, 43 – who alternately goes by the moniker, “Cinderella Zazikian” and “Hollywood Sandrella North.”     

What is notable here, is the the contradiction in the woman’s verbal meltdown.

‘That man harassed me for not wearing a mask,’ the woman tells a fellow shopper recording the incident. ‘I have a breathing problem, my doctor will not let me wear a mask. So anyone harassing me to wear a mask, you guys are violating federal law. Did you get that? Get that on camera.’

On the one hand, she maintains that she has a “breathing problem” that exempts her from wearing a mask or other type of protective face covering, but lashes out at employees and other shoppers as “Democratic Pigs.”

It’s highly unlikely that the woman has any sort of respiratory issue that would legitimately preclude her from using a mask. She seemed to be fully capable of screaming at the top of her lungs in protest – something a person with respiratory conditions would virtually never be heard doing.

So, what’s going on with this woman? Zadikian was asked by reporters from a local L.A. television station what medical condition she has that makes wearing a mask a health complication. She refused to disclose it. She is also denying any political orientation as relates to the incident:

‘Unlike whatever lies they are putting out there, I had no political agenda. I had nothing. They might use whatever else I said later in my anger, it doesn’t matter. What happened to me should not be happening to anyone else,’

Further drawing suspicion to the woman’s claims of a condition requiring her to avoid wearing a mask, is this short video that looks like something a narcissist would post to a dating site,  found by a sleuth on Twitter:

Zadikian, an Armenian immigrant from Beirut, Lebanon, appears to have taken down her regular Facebook page and substituted a secondary fake account under the pseudonym, “Ella Yan”.

What’s clear from a scroll through that timeline is that Zadikian is a follower of alt-Right / Trumpropaganda narratives. Someone on her friend list posted this conspiracy meme and Zadikian as “Ella Yan”, shared it.

Conspiracy theory meme about globalism and a plot involving the COVID-19 pandemic that was posted on Facebook.

These are representative of the hyper-paranoia rampant among Trump voters and adherents of internet alarmist conjecture trafficked on Facebook. 

She is also a denialist on systemic racism and police misconduct and a critic of Black Lives Matter. There is quite an amount of anti-stay at home order and social distancing material as well, which typically are dismissed as a “plot” and the virus outbreak as a pretense for a “plandemic”.

There is another component to this and it was far from unexpected. “Cinderella” professes to be a Christian and bases her rejection of the Golden Rule on her religious right orientation and her addiction to pseudo-science:

Zadikian is an “Esthetician”, working at a “Dr. Laser” clinic in Sherman Oaks, California in the San Fernando Valley, a few freeway exits from her residence in North Hollywood. The Dr. Laser outlet discloses on their website that they do not allow Estheticians to work on clients without face coverings. 

advertisement of "Dr. Laser" beauty clinic advising customers of coronavirus safety policies

She has an inspirational motto on her Vimeo account:

“Life is full of adventure & great possibilities. Never stop dreaming…It’s like being on an unfamiliar journey, with lots of annoying bumps on the road, but you can navigate & create your own journey.”

One assumes that those “Democratic Pigs” who have the nerve to question her refusal to participate in a civil society and adopt the minor contract that comes with doing so, are the “annoying bumps on the road”, she refers to.

Or it could be the person she plowed into with her car that obtained a judgment order against her for not responding to the lawsuit they filed. Whatever it was, it was serious enough that her driving privileges were suspended.               

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