Viral Video of Tense Elevator Confrontation Over Social Distancing Divides the Internet

A recently resurfaced viral video that shows two women arguing in an elevator about social distancing has divided Reddit.

The video was reposted to the Reddit forum "Public Freakout" on Thursday by Redditor u/Dr_Zol_Epstein_III. Already, the post has received more than 12,000 votes and over 3,200 comments.

"My girl here wants me to come out of the elevator so she can come out of the elevator," said the woman recording the video. The woman, a delivery driver, is standing near the elevator door while a red-haired woman stands in the opposite corner.

"We're supposed to maintain social distancing," said the red-haired woman in response. "I don't understand why you can't just politely step out and let me out of the elevator when I asked you nicely, while you have been wearing your mask incorrectly the entire time."

But the delivery woman quickly interjects to refute the red-haired woman's claims.

"You didn't ask me nicely, you said 'get the f**k out of the elevator," the delivery woman said. Immediately, the red-haired woman quips back to explain that she only said that after the delivery woman "refused" to get out of her way.

When the delivery woman then tells the red-haired woman to just get out of the elevator on her floor, the red-haired woman responds: "I'm trying to get off but I can't come close to you! Do you not understand that I have an extremely compromised immune system?"

She continues to yell at the delivery woman for "incorrectly wearing" her mask before she started recording the encounter. The two go back and forth until finally, the red-haired woman storms out of the elevator.

There is no footage that showed the lead-up to the video's events. Newsweek was unable to independently verify if the delivery woman was wearing her mask incorrectly before the video was recorded.

As previously mentioned the video is not new. According to commenters, it was likely filmed sometime last year.

Joseph Allen, an associate professor of exposure assessment science at Harvard University, created a brief etiquette guide last year specifically about how to behave in an elevator in light of the coronavirus pandemic.

At the time, he recommended that all individuals wear a mask, face forward and enter the elevator in a "checkerboard pattern."

He also stated that the person closest to the buttons should be responsible for selecting everyone's floor numbers, though he recommended they use their knuckles. Additionally, he recommended against conversing while inside the elevator.

Redditors had mixed reactions to the elevator confrontation. Some felt that the delivery woman was wrong for not being more sensitive to the red-haired woman's request. Those in defense of the delivery woman argued that the red-haired woman was being too cautious.

Others pointed out that because the video was likely recorded earlier in the pandemic, the red-haired woman had every right to feel scared or upset.

"In my mind, the woman recording is in the wrong," said u/FuqThePolMods in defense of the red-haired woman. "You have no idea what this woman [the red-haired woman] is going through. She could have a compromised immune system, care for an elderly parent, just lost someone to COVID, or any other horrible situation."

In defense of the delivery woman, u/ShroomanEvolution said: "Learn to control your emotions people. It's really not that hard. Also, if you don't want to risk your health in an elevator, don't get in an elevator. Take the f**king stairs if you're so fragile you can't stand next to someone. It's healthier anyway."

Redditor u/SteezVanNoten added: "Mask girl [red-haired woman] is being a little too cautious but I think she is making sense. She just wants [the] delivery girl to step outside the elevator for a few seconds so she herself can exit. It's clear the delivery girl is standing right by the door hence why mask girl is asking her to move very briefly."

To that comment, u/qualitylamps responded: "I mean I kinda get it but like they been [sic] standing in the elevator together which isn't 6 feet, I don't think being a little closer to her for the few seconds it takes to get out of the elevator is going to make any difference. But that's the point, whether or not the girl is making sense, she's obviously uncomfortable and is not asking for a lot."

One Redditor who was aware that the video was older, took the red-haired woman's side.

"I can feel that early pandemic frustration from that lady," added u/etork0925. "[The] delivery person was obviously not wearing the mask properly. Nor is it a big deal to just step out of the elevator to make space if asked."

people in elevator wearing masks
A recently resurfaced viral video that shows two women arguing in an elevator about social distancing has divided Reddit. One woman was upset at a delivery driver for not properly maintaining social distance. AndreyPopov/iStock