On July 21 2020, U.S. Marine Timmy Byrnes (@timmyb100) shared what would become a viral TikTok post about Americans refusing to wear masks during the COVID-19 pandemic.
On the afternoon of July 23 2020, Byrnes’ video had been viewed nearly two million times, and the reason for that was apparent upon watching the amusing and cathartic “rant.” Byrnes begins in what is clearly an already-frustrated state, sitting in his car, urging fellow Americans to “WEAR … a MASK.”
Immediately thereafter, the clip cuts to Byrnes wearing a tightly-fitted, army green neck gaiter. He continues:
Have you ever had to wear this fucking noose? Notice how you can’t really understand me? I have to do this … [pulling fabric away from his mouth] to be able to fuckin’ talk in this thing. FUCK!
Byrnes cuts to a still image of a soldier wearing protective gear and a gas mask and goes on venting about the state of affairs in the US. Shortly thereafter, he compares the use of masks to “a dress code”:
Don’t get me started on this … ball of fun. You’re gonna be fine! Stop being a little beta bitch … and to you other geniuses who are like ‘this is America! … I have the freedom not to wear a mask …’
It’s called a dress code Kevin! The 7-Eleven also requires you to wear a shirt!
Byrnes later says he then-recently returned from being deployed, explaining:
I’ve been overseas for two-and-a-half years … in Japan, not anywhere fuckin’ dangerous … and I finally get back to America just in time for it to shut down and you idiots are making it shut down longer! … It’s a piece of cloth!
In the description box, he wrote:
Long day, enjoy my rant #wearamask #greenscreen #phrog #foryou #4u #xyzbca #fyp #usmc #military #mask
@timmyb100Long day, enjoy my rant ##wearamask ##greenscreen ##phrog ##foryou ##4u ##xyzbca ##fyp ##usmc ##military ##mask♬ original sound – timmyb100
Although we’ve transcribed portions of Byrnes’ viral TikTok mask video, you can watch it above or by clicking here.