A Pennsylvania woman decided to treat the COVID-19 pandemic as a joke last year, coughing on food at her local supermarket. Now she’s about to face a new audience: jail inmates. Margaret Ann Cirko, 37, was sentenced to one to two years in prison, eight years of probation, and ordered to pay a $15,000 fine for the incident. Prosecutors said that in March 2020, just as COVID-19 lockdowns began, Cirko walked into a Gerrity’s Supermarket and screamed, “I have the virus. Now everyone is going to get sick.” She then coughed and spat on food throughout the store, forcing its owners to throw away about $35,000 worth of food and merchandise, according to The Morning Call. She pleaded guilty to a weapons of mass destruction charge in June, a second-degree felony.
Her lawyer said Cirko had mental health issues and later tested negative for the virus, with Cirko herself telling Judge Michael T. Vough that she regretted her actions. “I wish I could take it back,” she said. He replied: “I do too.”