Unreasonable? Man berates masked woman for coughing and 'spreading the disease' on MRT train

PHOTO: TikTok/Coachnigel

After two years of the pandemic and getting bogged down by various restrictions, it's understandable that plenty of anxiety has been created, especially when it comes to hygiene in public places. 

However, one man took it a bit too far by berating a fellow MRT passenger after she coughed twice despite having her mask on.

A 10-second clip of this exchange was uploaded onto TikTok yesterday (July 31) by user Nigel Koh (@Coachnigel). 

According to the caption on the video, the incident happened on the same day the video was uploaded at around 12.45 pm. The train was heading towards Ang Mo Kio. 

A separate caption at the bottom of the TikTok reads: "Uncle, you are so vulgar and paranoid!" 

https://www.tiktok.com/@coachnigel/video/7126025521418226945?is_copy_url=1&is_from_webapp=v1

At the start of the clip, the woman could be heard mentioning the word "medicine", seemingly to justify her coughing but the man quickly counters her by saying she is "spreading the disease to everyone". 

In retaliation, the woman argues that she is wearing a mask.

While gesticulating, the man says: "You wear a mask but you're coughing."

In the comments section of the video, Koh also said that the woman coughed twice before the man screamed at her, adding that no one spoke up for her. 

He also told another netizen that he himself has coughed before in the train, which garnered a negative response from the woman setting next to him. 

PHOTO: Screengrab/TikTok/Coachnigel

Other comments on the video showed many netizens taking the side of the woman, saying that the man had gone too far reprimanding her. 

PHOTO: Screengrab/TikTok/Coachnigel

Some explained that the woman couldn't help coughing as it is a reflex action. 

PHOTO: Screengrab/TikTok/Coachnigel

Others suggested that if the man is truly concerned, he could have just walked away from the situation.

Some even suggested that he could have taken private transport like a taxi if he was so worried about catching the virus. 

PHOTO: Screengrab/TikTok/Coachnigel

However, there were some who were sympathetic towards the uncle with one netizen suggesting that perhaps one of the uncle's loved ones may have died from Covid-19, causing him "to be paranoid".

Another said that the uncle may be concerned as he might be at higher risk of contracting the virus. 

PHOTO: Screengrab/TikTok/Coachnigel

This isn't the first time commuters have clashed over hygiene on public transport.

Earlier this year, a man sparked an online debate after he took the train despite still testing positive for Covid-19. 

Netizens had criticised him by saying that he had been selfish and not socially responsible. 

In another incident that happened last year in June, a man was confronted by another passenger for not wearing his mask properly on the MRT

ALSO READ: 'MBS badge lady' seen without mask at Jewel Changi Airport yet again

melissateo@asiaone.com