Janene Hoskovec is an Arizona woman and former SAP employee accused of coughing on a mother and daughter who were shopping at a Super Saver grocery store in Lincoln, Nebraska. Video of the September 3, 2021, incident went viral after it was posted on social media. The maskless woman in the video confronted the other shoppers because they were wearing masks.
The 55-year-old Hoskovec worked for SAP and the company said in a statement after the video went viral that it was “investigating the situation.” SAP said in an update late on September 8, 2021, “We have reviewed the incident and can confirm that the individual in question no longer works for SAP.”
Hoskovec was first named as being the woman in the video by TikTok creator ThatDaneshGuy, who is known for investigating and finding people in viral videos and stories. Danesh, who said he worked along with another TikTok user, Guilt, to confirm Hoskovec’s identity, posted a video naming her on September 7, 2021, leading to the statement from SAP.
SAP said in its first statement posted to Twitter, “The health and safety of our employees and the communities in which we live and work are of utmost concern to us. We are taking the matter of an SAP employee incident very seriously and investigating the situation.” SAP is a software company based in Germany. Hoskovec could not be reached for comment by Heavy and has not commented publicly about the video and the accusations made against her. The Lincoln Police Department and Super Saver have also not commented.
The video was first posted on Reddit by the woman who was coughed on. She titled the video on the Lincoln subreddit, “Anti-Mask Karen Deliberately Coughing on me at South 27th Super Saver.” It was also posted on TikTok by her 13-year-old daughter and went viral there as well. It spread on Twitter after it was shared by popular accounts like Fifty Shades of Whey, who wrote in his tweet, “COVID-denier in Nebraska coughs on shoppers at a supermarket. … This woman was last seen at a Super Saver in Lincoln, Nebraska deliberately coughing on innocent people & spraying her aerosols in the middle of a deadly pandemic.”
The 13-year-old girl’s father, who was not at the store, also shared the video on Twitter and wrote, “She instigated the whole thing. Picked a mother/child to harass. Think they just wanted to get away. Lady kept following them. Some other folks stepped in. The Super Saver they were at didn’t really do anything – tell the lady to leave/wear mask, etc.. they just broke it up.”
Here’s what you need to know about Janene Hoskovec and the viral video:
1. The Video Shows a Woman Coughing Multiple Times on a Mother & Daughter, Blaming It on ‘Allergies,’ & Then Calling Them ‘Sheep’
The incident occurred September 3, 2021, at the Super Saver grocery store near the South Pointe Mall on South 27th Street and Pine Lake Road, according to the woman who was coughed on along with her teen daughter. The video shows a woman pushing her shopping cart toward the woman recording and coughing multiple times. As she coughs, the woman says, “Excuse me, I’m coming through.” She then says to the woman and her daughter, “Look at you guys, you’re so cute. … You’re such sheep.”
The woman recording asked the cougher why she wasn’t wearing a mask, and she replied, “Because I don’t need to have one on. I’m not sick and neither are you.” There is a mask mandate in place for all non-residential indoor spaces in Lincoln and Lancaster County, Nebraska, for both vaccinated and unvaccinated people, according to the county’s health department.
In the video, the woman ignores requests from the mother and daughter to stop coughing at them. She continues to cough multiple times and tells them, “It’s my allergies.” She then adds, “Two years ago, before anyone started talking about COVID, you were OK with that.” The video shows an employee coming up to intervene. The woman recording tells him the other woman has been coughing at them, and the cougher replies, “I have my allergies. And she got all freaked out.”
The Reddit user who posted the video, Jessabird, said in her post, “So my kid and I were at the store tonight to pick up a few groceries when this lady approached us and said politely, ‘Excuse me,’ and to be honest I thought she was going to ask me for help or ask where something was. I was about to say ‘I don’t work here, lady,’ when she asked why we were wearing masks. That’s when I realized that she wasn’t wearing one herself.”
I started walking away, while replying, ‘Because of the Delta variant, and also because there’s a mandate.’ Then she went on about how she was born and raised here in Nebraska, and it’s too bad that some Nebraskans have turned into sheep. She asked if I’ve had a vaccine and said that my kid and I don’t need to wear masks because we look young and healthy. There were several other people around wearing masks but for some reason she chose to pick on me and my kid
At the end of this video, some poor guy working there tried to intervene and basically told us all to just go our separate ways. Karen walked away and I told the guy what happened. He said it wasn’t the first time he’s had to deal with people like her at work. I then tried to continue my shopping but this lady followed me around the store.
I told her she needs to keep her distance and that her coughing on me was assault. She laughed and kept saying ‘Look at you, it’s so cute how scared you are!”‘By this time I was absolutely livid, trying my best to hold it together in front of my kid. I didn’t finish my shopping, instead I went to the self checkout to pay for my stuff. Next she followed me to use the self checkout right next to mine. I informed the employee manning the checkouts that this woman had assaulted me in the store by coughing deliberately on me, but I didn’t wait around to see what the employee would say in response. I just really wanted to get us the heck out of there.
According to the Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department, a mask mandate has been in place since August 26 and it is set to continue until at least September 30, 2021. The city said on its website, “the delta variant has caused a large increase in community transmission of COVID-19 in Lancaster County. It is important for everyone to help slow the spread of the virus by wearing masks indoors.”
The city added, “Everyone two years of age and older must wear a mask indoors, other than a residence, whether they have been vaccinated or not. If you aren’t fully vaccinated, your mask is one of the most powerful tools you have to protect yourself and others.”
The woman who posted the video added on Reddit, ” I want to add something… I don’t necessarily like how I handled this at the store. I should not have engaged with this lady once I knew what she really wanted to talk about. I was so shocked at her behavior that I could barely think of anything to say. I wish I would have instead just left and gone somewhere else to shop. It was not a fun or amusing experience. Rather it was bizarre and weird. I understand some people don’t want to mask up but I’m not going around trying to argue with them. I mind my business and I expect others to mind theirs. Like I said above, I didn’t even notice at first that this lady wasn’t wearing a mask. But it’s a huge problem when a grown adult resorts to spewing their unmasked germs all over strangers in a public setting.”
2. Hoskovec, Who Has a Law Degree, Worked as a Client Partner at SAP & Says on LinkedIn She Helps ‘Navigate the IT, Finance & Legal Complexities of Digital Transformation’
Hoskovec has lived in Arizona for several years and has worked at SAP for the past three years, according to her now-deleted LinkedIn profile.
She wrote on LinkedIn, “Helping navigate the IT, finance and legal complexities of digital transformation. Let’s talk about your people and how to bring them along on your transformation journey. Having 20 years’ experience in technology sales, I am passionate about helping organizations navigate the IT, finance and legal complexities of digital transformation. When organizations harness the power of digital landscapes that are cohesive, progressive, and secure, it frees them to successfully compete and thrive in the rapidly changing modern digital economy.”
Hoskovec was an account executive at SAP in Tempe, Arizona, from June 2018 to June 2020 and became a client partner in Tempe in June 2020. Hoskovec previously worked as an account executive at SAP in Scottsdale, Arizona, from 2006 to 2008.
According to her LinkedIn profile, Hoskovec previously worked for a SAP partner, SNP, as an account executive in Scottsdale from 2016 to 2018 and was an independent contractor, working as a project manager in Scottsdale from 2007 to 2015. She has also worked at IBM and Hewlett Packard. From 1998 to 1999 she was a technical document specialist at NASA at the Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base, according to her LinkedIn.
3. Hoskovec, Who Lives in Arizona, Graduated From High School in Lincoln, Nebraska, Where She Grew Up
Hoskovec lives in Scottsdale, Arizona, according to her social media profiles and public records. But she is originally from Nebraska and has family in the Lincoln area.
She graduated from Lincoln High School in 1984, according to an archived article from The Schuyler Sun. While in high school in Nebraska, Hoskovec was the president of her class, was a member of the swimming and diving teams and was active in Campus Life, a Christian Youth Organization, according to the article.
Hoskovec has a law degree, but it is not clear if she is licensed to practice law anywhere. She does not appear to be licensed in Arizona or in Nebraska.
4. Hoskovec Attended the U.S. Air Force Academy, the University of Colorado & Arizona State University
Hoskovec attended the U.S. Air Force Academy, studying engineering, according to her LinkedIn profile. She was a member of the varsity diving and skydiving teams. It was not immediately clear if she graduated from the academy and served in the Air Force. Articles in The Schuyler Sun and The David City Banner-Press from 1984 show she was nominated for appointment to the USAF by Congressman Doug Bereuter.
According to her LinkedIn profile, Hoskovec graduated from the University of Colorado Boulder with a bachelor’s degree in journalism in 1990. She then completed her master’s degree in business administration at Arizona State University in 1997. Hoskovec earned her law degree, focusing in business, technology, intellectual property and contracts, in 2016 from the Arizona Summit Law School. She also has a certificate of mediation from Arizona Summit Law School.
Arizona Summit Law School, which was a for-profit organization, shut down in 2019 after its accreditation was pulled by the American Bar Association, according to the Arizona Republic.
On LinkedIn, Hoskovec said she was a legal intern in employment law at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) from 2014 to 2015 and was a legal intern in business and contracts law at CBCG law in 2014. A now-deleted Facebook post by a former employer celebrated Hoskovec as an Air Force veteran.
5. The Lincoln Police Department Is Investigating & in Other Similar Cases in Other States, People Have Faced Criminal Charges
Another woman was misidentified by some people on social media as being the woman in the video. Danice Trauernicht Brod wrote on Facebook, “Hi all, it has come to my attention that there is a video circulating on Facebook of a lady coughing on customers at Super Saver without wearing a mask. I can assure you the allegations made towards me are completely FALSE. The person in the video is NOT me. I have contacted the Lincoln Police Department and they have begun their investigation to find the actual culprit. I ask that if you see this post please share. Thank you.”
Brod’s employer, Lincoln car dealership DuTeau Chevrolet, said on Facebook, “We are incredibly saddened by the events that took place at Super Saver on S 27th St. What hurts us most is that an employee of ours is getting blamed for something that she DID NOT do. Danice Brod is not the lady many of you are seeing in a recent video. Danice is an incredibly kind woman with the biggest heart. We ask that you please stop posting and slandering her name. She is an incredible person and fabulous employee. Please, if you have posted something regarding this video that mentions her name we ask that you remove it. Thank you.”
The Lincoln Police haven’t commented on its investigation and whether Hoskovec could face charges. In other states, people have been arrested and convicted on charges in similar situations. In April 2021 in Florida, a woman named Debra Hunter received 30 days in jail after she admitted to coughing on a cancer patient in June 2020 at a Pier 1 Imports store at a mall, WJXT reported. Others have been charged with making a terroristic threat, breach of peace and battery in similar incidents in several states.
The city of Lincoln said on its website, “If you are fully vaccinated, wearing a mask indoors gives you extra protection from getting infected. Fully vaccinated people are well protected from serious illness and death from COVID-19, including the delta variant. But we are seeing cases in vaccinated people, and they can infect others. This is why even if you are fully vaccinated, you are now required to wear a mask indoors. For masks to work properly, they need to completely cover your nose and mouth and fit snugly against the sides of your face and around your nose. Your mask should be made with two or more layers of tightly woven, breathable material.”