Letters to the Editor: The ‘smoldering anger’ harbored by doctors during the pandemic

A healthcare worker in an intensive care unit in Colton, Calif., on Dec. 23, 2020.
A healthcare worker in the intensive care unit at Arrowhead Regional Medical Center in Colton, Calif., on Dec. 23, 2020.
(Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: Thanks to Dr. Jillian Horton for her poignant essay on burned-out healthcare workers and “muffin rage,” which perfectly captures the smoldering anger behind our thousand-yard stares after a night of incessant demands and grueling decision-making, and as witnesses to unspeakable suffering and untimely death.

Although my training was perhaps decades before hers, I came to believe that no one else besides my fellow residents had any understanding of what we witnessed and what we did. We stood alone, as Horton and her colleagues did, and as other staff did too.

I applaud her suggestion that we closely observe our medical colleagues and ancillary personnel whenever we offer what we consider to be encouragement. It is so important to reach out to those who are hurting and to give them a chance to talk about how they feel in a nonjudgmental fashion.


If we do so, we will find ourselves healing too.

C.F. Sharp, M.D., Pasadena


To the editor: I have no idea why I try to explain “rights” to anti-vaxxers. These people have no realization that there are only limited personal rights when one lives in a society.

Certain language is not permitted in certain places. One must respect traffic rules. One has to act with some deportment when out in public. There are many other rights that we do not have.

I am sure that the concept of personal rights regarding these lifesaving vaccines began when our former president told his nation that the pandemic would end in April 2020 when the weather got warmer.

Phyllis Molloff, Fallbrook