Letters to the Editor: Without mandated sick days, Americans are primed for a coronavirus plague

Coronavirus infection
A video monitor inside the California Department of Public Health in Sacramento shows the number of COVID-19 cases around the world on Feb. 27.
(Justin Sullivan / Getty Images)

To the editor: Columnist Michael Hiltzik is exactly correct: We have a sick system of healthcare in the United States, and not mandating employee sick days makes the problem worse with the coronavirus outbreak. Insurance companies make our decisions for us, deciding which procedures are covered and which are not, and on the necessity of a diagnostic procedure to possibly prevent further complications and advanced disease.

And, they charge extravagant prices for this “luxury.”

Healthcare needs to be in the hands of a neutral third party that does not have a profit motive. And, the system needs to be simplified. Worst of all, millions of people in the United States cannot afford healthcare — now that is the crying, stinking shame of this country.

Chet Chebegia, San Marcos



To the editor: Hiltzik writes: “About a third of all American workers have no right to sick leave, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In service industries — where employees must report to workplaces to get paid and are most likely to come in contact with the public — more than half have no sick leave.”

It’s colossal stupidity, having a service-based economy and not ensuring healthcare, paid time off, job security and a guaranteed minimum wage for those service workers.

That’s why my husband and I, former longtime financial service and technology sector workers, are voting for Sen. Bernie Sanders.

If you do not ask for something, you do not get it. It’s long past time that our representatives in government demanded workplace conditions conducive to the well-being of all.

Claudia Parola, Los Angeles


To the editor: The example of the woman preparing food for the airline catering service while she’s had untreated bronchitis for three months illustrates my major argument for access to single-payer healthcare.


I don’t want the person cooking my food to have a contagious, untreated condition.

Marla S. Knutsen, Altadena