Letters to the Editor: Elderly women protesting vaccine mandates, what are you thinking?

People listen to speakers during a Defeat the Mandates Rally in Washington on Jan. 23.
People listen to speakers during a Defeat the Mandates Rally in Washington on Jan. 23.
(Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: As a woman getting ready to celebrate my 75th birthday, I was dismayed to see the front-page photo in Monday’s paper, teasing a story inside, showing two elderly women protesting COVID-19 vaccine mandates in Washington.

Ladies, what are you thinking? Don’t you realize that women and the elderly have endured much of the tragic effects of the pandemic? Women — as caregivers, nurses, teachers and mothers — have had to take on an outsized portion of the added responsibilities.

I know personally eight people who died from COVID-19. Two died in the final months preceding availability of the vaccines.


Do these women not remember that we all had to produce proof of smallpox vaccination before starting kindergarten? Do they not remember the summers when our mothers would not let us attend group events due to the polio outbreaks?

In the beginning of this pandemic, I heard many young people opposed to the shutdowns say that only old people were dying. I never felt so disrespected in my life. As an older woman, I still have many things I want to do in my life and many opportunities to continue to serve my community.

Elderly ladies in the photograph, I am ashamed of you.

Laurie Jacobs, San Clemente


To the editor: Many people who are opposed to widespread COVID-19 mandates are fully vaccinated, left-leaning members of society who are very “pro-vaccine.” It is unnecessarily divisive to use the term “anti-vaxxer” to refer to people who question the public health trade-offs of policies mandating vaccines.

We don’t call people who are opposed to mandated exercise programs “anti-exercisers.” Readers of The Times would be better served by careful distinction between opposition to vaccines and opposition to mandates.

Catherine Sarkisian, MD, Los Angeles