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Kelowna  

Woman refuses to wear mask at LUSH, films altercation

Mask drama at mall

A Lake Country woman claims she was the victim of "commie intimidation" after she was asked to leave Kelowna's LUSH Cosmetics Thursday for refusing to wear a mask.

In a video that is not publicly available on her Facebook page, Susan Roth Drazdoff Faechner is seen arguing with a security guard and three female employees after she was refused service and told to leave LUSH for refusing to wear a face covering – which is company policy. 

In the video, she describes the employees' conduct as "commie intimidation."

"I have the right to say no to a mask," Faechner told Castanet. "I went in for an anniversary present for my husband. I picked up one thing I was going to buy. I turned around, I was ready to go, and security is there asking for my medical information."

In the video, the security guard asks Faechner for a medical note after she tells him she can't wear a mask due to her medical condition. When Faechner declines, the security guard explains that it's store policy for customers to wear a face covering while inside. When Faechner argues the store is "public property to walk on," the security guard says it is, in fact, private property.

"I know the law, and I know my constitutional human rights," she says to the security guard.

"I felt like I was under, I don't want to sound dramatic, but it was like great grievous bodily mental harm," Faechner told Castanet. "Not that they were going to beat me up, but it was causing me extreme stress. When they came up to me it was like holy cow, I'm under attack and I'm all alone.

"This is like communism like, 'you get out otherwise we call the police.' Thats intimidation."

Faechner says after the video ended she left peacefully as she didn't want to escalate the situation further.

LUSH Kelowna manager Spence Dagneau says the incident with Faechner was one of the first times a customer has gotten upset about the mask policy.

"[The staff members] were pretty shaken up for the rest of the day but we have a really small, tight-knit group here and they're all feeling pretty confident again today so its nice to see," Dagneau said.

All LUSH stores across North America mandated face coverings on July 18, 2020.

"Shoppers who wish to enter a store but do not have their own face covering will be provided with one, or can choose contactless ordering instead by remaining outside the store while staff assist," the LUSH website states. "The change comes following new guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control, along with our ongoing commitment to the safety of our customers, staff and overall community."

Other retailers like Walmart and Real Canadian Superstore have also chosen to mandate the use of masks inside their stores.

But, echoing sentiments from a vocal minority in the community, Faechner says the mask rules infringe on her human rights. 

"Masks are a freedom of choice," she says. "Wear it, or don't. Know your information, know what you're talking about. You shouldn't blindly wear a mask because some organization is telling you to do it."

Faechner says after the incident she went to a different store in the shopping centre and was given service without a mask. She says she'll no longer be shopping at LUSH stores.

"I call myself a Christ crusader and people with faith, they don't just outright lie because they have a creator that they have to answer to at some point," she says. "I'm not going to outright lie, I just think something's happened to humans where we've just lost our sense of humanity."

Faechner acknowledges the COVID-19 virus exists, but doesn't trust the numbers of cases and deaths published by the government. To date, 223 British Columbians have died from COVID-19. 



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