Kingston, New York Barber Joseph LaLima Is His Name, And He Is Now “COVID-19 Joe” To Me.

His name is Joseph LaLima, and he is the going to be soon infamous barber of Kingston, New York who helped spread the coronavirus to his customers.  For those that hadn’t heard, COVID-19 Joe decided that rules are not for him.  COVID-19 Joe kept cutting hair during the viral pandemic despite the order from the health department not to.

The complaint came in last month from a resident of Kingston, a city in New York’s Hudson Valley: A local barbershop was still performing haircuts, in violation of New York’s emergency shutdown orders to thwart the coronavirus.
Two days later, a buildings investigator went out to investigate the claim. La Lima Barbershop at 678 Broadway was dark.
Three more visits, on April 13, 17, and 19 turned up the same result: “Appears to be closed,” the inspector wrote on each form.
The complaint was left unresolved until this week, when the proprietor of the shop, Joseph LaLima, was hospitalized for the coronavirus, setting off a furor in the Ulster County city, about 90 miles north of New York City.
Mr. LaLima had never stopped cutting hair, despite Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s order. But he was not doing it in his shop; he was doing in the privacy of his home — in the back of the shop.

Emboldened is mine.  

Seems COVID-19 Joe decided that the order only pertained to his barber shop address and not to his home.  Therefore, he could keep cutting hair.

But according to state officials, Mr. LaLima’s interpretation of the order does not square with its actual text. The March 21 rule did not just order the closure of the physical spaces where services like manicures and haircuts are performed; it required services like nail-painting and buzz cuts to cease completely.

Is COVID-19 Joe the least bit sorry about all this?

A few hours after leaving the hospital, Mr. LaLima railed against the governor. He said he had done no wrong, and was simply trying to make a living.
“I am aggravated to the nines,” Mr. LaLima said. “Is Cuomo going to pay me? Is he going to make up the difference? Is he going to pay my taxes? Is he going to pay the heat and electric? Is he going to feed my family?” he asked….

The coronavirus has killed 64 people in Ulster County, and more than 1,500 people have been infected. Eleven people are currently hospitalized in the county, and health officials fear that some of Mr. LaLima’s clients may be next.
Some of the county’s 55 disease investigators are now trying to trace those customers. According to the barber, many of his clients were police officers and firefighters, whose hair he cut for free.
“I did them a favor!” Mr. LaLima said. “And I didn’t give it to anybody else. I got it from somebody that came into my shop.”

Looking like a definite “NO!” to being sorry.  And the icing on the cake that makes this a “FUCK YOU ALL!” moment:

Mr. LaLima is not the only hairdressing scofflaw. This week, Karl Manke, 77, a barber in Owosso, Mich., had his business and professional licenses suspended after he reopened his shop in defiance of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s order. Despite the suspension of his licenses, he said he planned to keep cutting hair.
Mr. LaLima was similarly disposed. He said he was feeling well and ready to cut hair as soon as possible. “I think the people that are up in arms are idiots,” he said.

We are all fucking idiots to care about spreading a deadly virus, at least according to COVID-19 Joe.

I would have some sympathy for those who are trying to make ends meet during this economic depression, but the ones who defy public health orders are the ultimate in selfish bastards.  And I no longer feel any sympathy for them.

  • May 17, 2020