Letters to the Editor: We’re at the ‘serenity prayer’ phase of the pandemic

People protest the Los Angeles Unified School District's vaccine mandate in downtown L.A. on Dec. 8.
People protest the Los Angeles Unified School District’s vaccine mandate in downtown L.A. on Dec. 8.
(Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: Many people take heart in the serenity prayer. It seems appropriate for the pandemic right now. (“California revives mask mandate as hospitals fear hard winter wave of COVID-19 cases,” Dec. `14)

“God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change.” The vaccines are safe, effective and available to all but the very young, yet more than a quarter of Americans has refused to get in line. Many people will never get vaccinated.

“Grant me the courage to change the things I can.” Get fully vaccinated and encourage your loved ones to do the same. Use common-sense measures when appropriate. We all know what they are by this time.


“And grant me the wisdom to know the difference.” When ignorance and false narratives rule people’s lives, there is nothing anyone can say at this point to change their minds. The consequences should be theirs to shoulder alone.

All government employees who refuse vaccination should lose their jobs. Leave private business and those they employ to figure it out for themselves. If they do not, they will suffer consequences in the workplace and marketplace. Medicare, Medicaid and private insurers should begin denying coverage for people who do not have a legally acceptable reason for being unvaccinated.

So here’s hoping that the serenity prayer helps us through yet another crisis and that people do the right thing. Or something like that.

Paul Atkinson, Ventura


To the editor: Recently I’ve been to five restaurants, from high-end to chain, and I was not checked once for my vaccination status. One restaurant even had a sign at the host station saying that proof of vaccination was required, but no one checked.

I filed a complaint about two of them through the Los Angeles County Department of Health website. I got a response on one that said I should report it to the “city of Studio City.”


Apparently, the city of L.A. is not aggressively enforcing its own vaccine rules, and the county doesn’t know which “cities” are within its borders.

Brad Goldberg, Studio City


To the editor: Unfortunately, one of your letter writers cites the infinitesimal number of child COVID-19 deaths in California, compares those to overall child influenza deaths in the United States (a different pool) and seems to imply that COVID-19 vaccine mandates for children are not necessary.

Nowhere does he seem to demonstrate the understanding we have of COVID-19 being more infectious, perhaps, and certainly more dangerous to older persons whom these children may infect.

But if 800,000 U.S. COVID-19 deaths don’t teach you something, then one might guess you are a scientifically lost soul with an agenda.

Scott Hamre, Cherry Valley, Calif.


To the editor: I flew to Hawaii for Thanksgiving. I had to complete health forms, upload my vaccination certificate to a state database and show a copy of it at the airport upon arrival.


When I flew back to the mainland, no one at the airport asked to see my vaccination certificate or took my temperature. The only requirement was to wear a mask.

No wonder we are in trouble.

C.S. Campbell, Santa Monica