A physician is arrested after attacking teens who refused to practice social distancing.
John Rademaker, MD, an anesthesiologist in Louisville, Kentucky, is taking social distancing guidelines very seriously. So seriously, in fact, the doctor became engaged when he witnessed a group of teenage girls congregating in an outdoor area, defying federal recommendations. Instead of politely educating them on the dangers of doing so, however, Rademaker became physical, attacking the teens. The confrontation was captured on a video that soon went viral and police arrested him, charging him with harassment and strangulation. The doctor was also placed on administrative leave.
In the footage posted to social media, a woman with Rademaker is shown filming the teens with her smartphone. One of those congregating takes the phone away from her. “Give me my phone,” the woman demands to which Rademaker responds by cursing at the teen. He moves toward the group, shoves two of the girls, kneels down over the teen who took the phone and grabs her by the neck while the others pry him off.
After the physician was taken into custody, Louisville police said of the incident, “Obviously, we do not advise individuals concerned about social distancing to take matters into their own hands and confront people about it, especially in any physical way.”
Many doctors are disappointed with those not taking guidelines seriously, although most have chosen to handle the situation more productively. Vanessa Walker, DO, a pulmonologist in Roseville, California, was shocked to discover those in her community still gathering. “I’m in a bubble in the hospital, with everyone wearing masks,” she said, “So, I was expecting to find everyone on the outside doing that, too.”
In May, she went shopping for the first time in a while. “About half the people weren’t wearing masks,” she recalled. The doctor overheard a girl in the store asking her mother why Walker had a mask on. “Her mother replied, ‘She’s just too worried or too scared, don’t worry about her, sweetie,’” Walker said. “The experience was a complete shock to the core for me. I felt betrayed by the people not wearing masks.”
Walker added, in public spaces, it can be next to impossible to determine who has COVID-19 and who doesn’t. In the hospital, she always knows when a patient has been diagnosed with the virus. “When I’m in the hospital, I know who has COVID and who doesn’t,” she said. “Everyone is wearing masks, and I have all the right gear, and I know how to protect myself. But that’s not true outside.”
Broward, Florida, Mayor Dale Holness, has also expressed concern that teens and young adults, specifically, are not taking the pandemic seriously, leading to an uptick in cases. He said, “A large number of younger people are contracting the virus. We suspect that it is from these parties that are being created. It’s from these restaurants that are acting as clubs. Bars and clubs were never allowed to be reopened. However, some restaurants are breaking the rules and acting as though they are clubs and that we must end in order to fight this virus.”